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Military Divorce Attorneys in Surprise and Sun City West Help Clients Dissolve Their Marriage

Firm represents service members and their spouses

Someone who serves in the United States armed forces makes a tremendous sacrifice for their country. Military spouses often have to carry the load at home while their husband or wife is performing their duty. Along with the pressures that all marriages face, military families often experience additional challenges that sometimes lead to divorce. Pennington Law, PLLC in Sun City West and Surprise handles military divorce cases for service members stationed in Arizona and their spouses. In addition to our background handling standard marriage dissolution cases, we are also cognizant of the special issues that frequently exist in military divorces, such as access to Tricare coverage and military pension benefits.

Divorce as it relates to military law

While a military family is present in Arizona, either spouse can file for divorce within the state as long as they have resided here for at least 90 days. Complications can arise when a service member is stationed overseas, however. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, someone on active duty in another country is protected against being held in default in family law cases and other civil matters until they have returned to the United States for 60 days.

Making custody arrangements in a military divorce

Any divorce involving minor children can be complicated, but military families face unique challenges. A parent in the armed forces might be serving overseas or could be sent to a different location with little notice, requiring significant adjustments to a parenting time schedule. Active duty military who have sole or shared custody of a minor child must submit a Family Care Plan that names substitute caregivers and describes other arrangements that are in place if the service member is deployed to a distant location.

Child and spousal support in a military divorce

Salary information and tax returns that are typically used to formulate child support and alimony orders might be very misleading when the paying party is in the armed forces. In these situations, it is important to retain an attorney who understands how to accurately assess military compensation in pursuit of a fair order. Our firm has the information you need on these issues and can also handle the enforcement of child support and maintenance obligations. If you are not receiving the funds you are entitled to, we will petition for an enforcement order and can contact your ex-spouse’s commanding officer and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service regarding the withholding of income.

Pensions and health insurance in a military divorce

Career service members and their spouses rely on Tricare health coverage and the pension benefits that they expect to receive following their retirement. If you are divorcing someone on active duty or who has retired from the military, it is important to understand if you still qualify for these benefits. Under the “20/20/20 rule,” an ex-spouse is entitled to Tricare benefits if their husband or wife served for at least 20 years, if the marriage lasted for 20 years and the marriage and the service overlapped for at least two decades. In cases where the marriage and service overlapped for between 15 and 20 years, the ex-spouse may maintain Tricare coverage for up to one year. We can review your situation and advise on this issue as well as the potential division of retirement pay, PX privileges and other matters.

Contact an Arizona lawyer for a free consultation to discuss your military divorce

Pennington Law, PLLC represents service members and military spouses in divorce proceedings. Our offices are in Sun City West and Surprise. To make an appointment for a free consultation, please call 623-229-0463 or contact us online.