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Military Divorce in New York

Being a member of the military is tough. It can take you away from your family, and makes communicating with your loved ones difficult. As honorable as it is to serve in the military, it can put a strain on your marriage. Military divorce has some unique obstacles, but the right law firm can make the process less stressful.

All divorce cases have their own challenges and hurdles, but these are intensified for military families. Questions surrounding filing, jurisdiction, and child custody are common during military cases.

The grounds for a military divorce are the same as is in a civilian action. A divorce can be filed in New York State when:

  • Either spouse reside in New York
  • The military member is stationed at a base in New York

Active duty military members need to consult with a NYC divorce attorney if they wish to file for a divorce.

Unfortunately, some military spouses will attempt to get a default divorce by filing while their partner is deployed overseas. Luckily, there are laws in place to help protect active duty military members.

For instance, servicemen or women have up to 60 days after they return from active duty to respond to a divorce Summons. Certain deployments make it very difficult for military members to be served with a Summons, which helps to delay the start of an action.

As with a normal divorce case, retirement benefits and pensions earned during the marriage are considered marital property. This means that they are subject to equitable distribution. However, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act helps to protect a service person’s retirement benefits. As per the act, the non-military spouse will only be awarded benefits when:

  • The couple has been married for at least 10 years
  • The military spouse was active duty for at least 10 years

Active duty service members are often deployed, and typically do not receive residential custody. However, they can still retain joint legal custody, and they will have visitation rights. Military members need to take extra care to make sure their parenting agreement has flexible visitation stipulations. It is common for these agreements to include:

  • Phone calls
  • Facetime of video chatting
  • Extended visitation time (i.e.: school breaks)
  • A more flexible visitation calendar

Child support is determined using the same formula and methods in military divorce cases, as in regular divorce actions. A military member’s child support obligation cannot exceed 60% of their pay.

Military divorce is complicated. It requires the help of an experienced divorce attorney who is familiar with the process and additional challenges. The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in complex cases, and has represented many service members during their divorce actions.

For more information, or to schedule a free, no obligation consultation, contact our team at 718-875-7584 today!

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