Fairfax Military Divorce Lawyers
Special Considerations in Military Divorces
When members of the military go through a divorce or face other family law issues, they — and their families — have unique needs that civilians do not face. We understand that the missions of military service members carry stresses and challenges unknown to most of civilian society.
From our offices in Fairfax, Virginia, the family law attorneys at Nova Family Law Group frequently represent military members of all branches of the Armed Forces ranging in rank from General to enlisted and we also represent military spouses in divorce proceedings. We have significant understanding of how to best structure agreements and orders in military divorces and family disputes, and we are proud to count former military members among the law firm's team of lawyers, including a retired Judge Advocate General (JAG).
Division of Retirement and Health Care Benefits
As in a civilian divorce, the marital assets and debts must be divided between spouses in a military divorce. However, special federal laws and regulations apply in cases involving military members. Hiring a divorce or family law attorney who has no experience applying the regulations specific to military divorces means running the risk of accepting a marital property settlement that does not protect your interests. We understand the relevant federal laws and regulations that apply to the division of military benefits such as:
For example, a nonmilitary spouse may have the right to a proportional share of the military member's pension. Depending on the length of the marriage, the nonmilitary spouse may be able to receive pension payments directly from the Department of Defense - Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Otherwise, the nonmilitary spouse will have to arrange for pension payments from the former spouse.
In addition to pension issues, we can assist with:
- The division of retirement under the 10-10 rule
- Issues affecting deployed parents and serving military personnel
- Support issues and virtual visitation of children
- Residency issues in military divorces
The 20-20-20 Rule: Eligibility for continuing health care coverage depends on the length of the marriage and the length of military service. A spouse in a marriage that lasted more than 20 years and overlapped completely with 20 years of military service will be automatically eligible for continuing health care coverage for the remainder of the nonmilitary member's life and the lives of any minor children. If you do not meet the 20-20-20 rule, you may still apply for continuation of health care benefits for a certain period of time.
Other Important Considerations
When our attorneys handle divorces involving military members, whether our client is the military member or a nonmilitary spouse, we are sensitive to other unique issues faced by service members and their families.
We work to develop creative and acceptable child custody and visitation plans for parents who travel or are frequently reassigned, to provide support for the relationship between the parent and the child.
In divorce cases where one spouse claims fault — for example, adultery or substance abuse — we act as careful and protective advocates and negotiators. A claim of fault or adultery in a divorce can adversely affect a military member's career. In such cases, where we represent the military member, we work to negotiate an acceptable — and private — resolution so that the military member may retain his or her good standing. However, in the event negotiation fails, our attorneys will use their experience in the courtroom to fight for our clients.
Contact the Nova Family Law Group
We encourage you to browse our Web site to learn more about our family law practice, our law firm and our attorneys. If, however, you are considering divorce or have other family law issues, we urge you to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.
To make an appointment, call (571) 421-2992 or contact us online.