We salute all the members of the United States military and their service to our country. We also understand the complexities associated with a military divorce or domestic relations situation that involves a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard. We offer members of the military extensive legal experience and dedication in the handling of a divorce or domestic relations matter.
Divorce, dissolution and other types of domestic issues can be multifaceted when it involves a member of the military. There may be multiple jurisdictions involved and certain parts of military and federal law and procedure that apply. Those differences affect every part of a divorce and require specific skills and a high level of experience from a domestic relations attorney.
We work with Ohio residents to obtain a divorce from a member of the military or between members of the military regardless of where the spouse is stationed – even on a ship at sea.
This is also true with other domestic matters such as child support and child visitation.
We know how to work with people who fall under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, which covers military members who may be in harm’s way, and which can often delay proceedings.
Child Support and visitation are other issues which may also be impacted if one or both of the married couple is a member of the military.
Property division can also be very a little different from a normal divorce, especially regarding a military pension, which is often one of the largest assets in a marriage.
Treatment of a Military Pension in a Military Divorce
The most complicated area in a military divorce is the military pension. In 1983 Congress passed the Uniform Services Former Spouses Protection Act which allowed a former spouse of a military participant to participate in the military member’s pension benefit. The military complies with what is known as the “Ten Ten Rule”.
The Ten Ten Rule means in relevant part that for a former spouse to be entitled to pension benefits from a military member, the military member must have
a. Been in service for at least ten (10) years; and
b. the marriage must have been for at least ten (10) years.
These requirements need to be met in order for the military to honor a separate qualified domestic relations order in a military divorce situation. However, even if a marriage has not been for ten (10) years, the law has been evolving to allow the Court to place a value on the military pension if the spouse has been in the military for at least ten (10) years.
What this means is that once the marital portion of the military pension is placed with a value, the non-military spouse would be entitled to one-half of the value of the military pension regardless if they have not yet been married for ten (10) years. The complicated aspect of this is that although the U.S. Government will not recognize a qualified domestic relations order dividing a military pension if the parties have not been married for at least ten (10) years, Ohio Courts can establish a value in those types of situations and require the military member to somehow through other assets compensate his or her spouse the marital value of the non-military members pension value.
With so many issues in a military divorce that are different from other types of divorces or dissolutions, you need a lawyer who knows all of the ins and outs.
Attorney Jeff Hawkins at our law firm has the extensive experience needed with a military divorce. Please contact Jeff for a free consultation by calling 888-774-9265, chat with one of our 24-hour live chat representatives or send us a website message.