Ready To Help Servicemembers And Their Spouses Through A Military Divorce
Going through any type of divorce is never easy. Many of the things involved when a civilian marriage ends, such as child custody agreements, property division and alimony, are also the main concerns in an Indiana military divorce. But servicemembers face special challenges when divorcing. Active duty members of the military must have to content with potential deployment and possible residency challenges when divorcing.
In addition, unique and complex laws apply to divorce when one or both parties are members of the armed forces. Individuals unfamiliar with those laws may put themselves at a disadvantage when divorcing. At Cross Glazier Reed Burroughs, PC, in Indianapolis, our attorneys assist service members and their spouses through the emotional and technical aspects involved with ending a marriage.
Being in the military can mean frequently relocating for many families. To file for a military divorce in Indiana, either the service member or his or her spouse must live or be stationed in the state for six months before being eligible.
Federal Laws Applicable To Military Divorce
During a military divorce, the division of property and debts is handled somewhat differently than civilian divorce. There are several federal laws designed to protect the interests of the parties. These include:
- Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA): Designed to protect the interests of military spouses, the USFSPA sets rules for the division of retirement accounts, including treating military pensions and retirement accounts as marital property.
- The 10/10 Rule: The 10/10 Rule is part of the USFSPA. It covers how payments to a military spouse are paid, if they are owed. Simply put, if a military spouse has been married to a servicemember for at least 10 years and the servicemember was in military service for at least 10 of the years they were married, then the military spouse is entitled to receive payments directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
- Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA): The SCRA provides protection to active duty military members. It gives courts the authority to effectively overrule default judgments by setting them aside or vacating them if the servicemember was not able to attend a hearing because of military duties and the servicemember was negatively affected by the judgment. It may even allow for postponement of a divorce under certain circumstances.
Division of property in a military divorce, including the service member’s pay and retirement benefits, may depend on several factors. Some of these include the length of the marriage and how many years of marriage overlapped with service in the military.
Our divorce attorneys will walk you through every step of the process and ensure that you understand all of your options.