Military members and their spouses face special challenges during divorce. Although the laws governing divorce are the same for military and non-military couples, military divorce involves additional factors that can complicate divorce. If you need a military divorce lawyer in Modesto, Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated can help you obtain a fair divorce settlement. If one spouse is on active duty, the divorce could take a significant amount of time – especially if the service member is stationed overseas.
At Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated, our firm has handled more than 2,500 family law cases and is ready to put this experience to work for you. Contact our Modesto military divorce lawyer at once!
Military Pension and Retired Pay
Military pensions and retired pay are one two of the most complicated issues related to military divorce. Military retired pay is one of the best retirement benefits programs in the United States. You can begin collecting retired pay at the age of 37 and retirement benefits can grow each year as your living expenses increase. During a divorce, military retired may be subject to division – just like any other financial asset or debt. However, these divorce cases can take a great deal of time to resolve because military retirement plans are so valuable.
Military retired pay is considered marital property under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA). According to the USFSPA, a service member's "disposable retired pay" includes his/her military retired pay, minus applicable deductions. The USFSPA can allow the court to distribute the military retired pay in the same manner that it would divide a civil pension plan. This does not mean that the military member's spouse will automatically receive any of the retirement. Instead, it allows he spouse to seek a portion of the retirement. Then, the spouse will seek a percentage of the retired pay.
Divorce and Military Survivor Benefit Plans
Some former spouses can receive Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) money as well. Generally speaking, SBPs are provided so that military members can provide for their families and loved ones after they die. Under certain circumstances, ex-spouses can remain enrolled in SBPs. However, the military member must choose to continue the spouse's enrollment. Enrollment is usually terminated automatically after a divorce. If the service member is allowed to select a beneficiary at retirement, he/she may choose a former spouse.
The spouse must be able to show that he/she was married to a military service member for at least 20 years in order to collect money from an SBP. Additionally, the service member must have served at least 20 years in the U.S. military. If the marriage and the military service occurred simultaneously for at least two decades, the spouse may qualify for benefits. If the spouse does not meet all of the requirements, he/she may be eligible for reduced benefits.
Do you need a military divorce attorney in Modesto, CA?
Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated is dedicated to helping clients deal with complicated military divorces. We are confident in our ability to help you obtain the case results that you need, so call our office today. Are you worried about exorbitant attorney's fees? We offer high-quality legal representation at a reasonable cost. With our flexible payment plans, our team can help you obtain the fair divorce settlement that you need and deserve, without creating a heavy financial burden. Attorney Scott Mitchell provides personalized legal representation and always strives to know his clients on a personal level.