Soldiers and their spouses get divorced, too — and their status as members of the armed forces requires a special subset of legal knowledge. Though military divorces go through civilian courts, they have a different dynamic than their civilian counterparts.Military Divorce Is Not Like Civilian Divorce
For one thing, spouses of servicemen and servicewomen have protections not available to most civilians. Soldiers who don't provide family support can face harsh penalties, including a court-martial. A soldier's pay, particularly that pay attributable to family status, housing allowances and the like, can be taken and paid directly to the service member's spouse.
In the case of a long-term marriage, military retirement or military pension benefits also come into play, as well as disability benefits that the serviceman or woman may have earned over a long career.Addressing Child Support, Child Custody, Visitation and Paternity Issues
Jurisdiction can be an issue. Meeting residency requirements is usually not a problem for civilians, but it's different for military personnel. To be a resident of the state your base is in, you usually have to have been stationed there for a year or more.
Service-member families often look into uncontested divorce, often while the soldier is deployed outside the country. They have questions about venues and jurisdictions, and how child support is calculated when there are so many aspects — some taxable, some not — to military pay and benefits.Skillful Alabama Military Family Law Attorney
We are often asked questions about the military aspects of:
- Child custody and child support
- Child visitation, a huge issue when parents are halfway around the world
- Dividing retirement benefits, pension benefits, disability benefits and other military privileges
We are happy to answer all these questions. Our sympathies are 100 percent with men and women in uniform and their families. It is truly unfair that these individuals, most of them quite young and starting out, must pay such a price for serving their country.
If you are a service member or spouse contemplating divorce in Alabama, The Oncale Firm is the place to call. Contact military divorce lawyer Shane Oncale in Birmingham at 205-458-9805 for a free consultation.