Atlanta Military Divorce Attorneys
Military servicemembers are to be applauded for their work in protecting our rights and our freedoms. However, they're human just like the rest of us, and they can run into marital problems just as easily as someone not in the service. While there is no special court that oversees a divorce involving a military servicemember, there are certain laws in place which may affect the divorce when one or both parties are past or current servicemembers.
Whether you are in the military or your spouse is serving, you should know what laws can affect your case in state courts and what to do moving forward. Unfortunately, it's not easy to go through the process alone. You should speak with a skilled attorney who can help you navigate the legal system with your best interests in mind.
What is the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act?
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) is a federal law in place that provides specific benefits to those who have divorced military members. The former non-military spouse may be eligible to receive portions of various benefits that the military member receives. For instance, the former spouse may be able to receive a portion of:
- The military member's retirement payments
- The military member's commissary benefits
- The military member's healthcare benefits
When navigating a divorce in Georgia, it's essential to understand state law, but you must also keep the USFSPA in mind. There are certain factors that this act brings into play, and they can affect the outcome of your divorce. You should have a lawyer to help you understand the benefits you or your former spouse may receive and how to protect your rights whether you're the military member or the spouse of the servicemember.
The USFSPA allows for the following:
- Retirement pay: The act may allow the state courts overseeing the divorce to use military retirement pay as part of the property division process. In some situations, the former spouse may receive payment straight from the government.
- Medical care: The act may allow the former spouse of the military member to receive healthcare at military medical facilities.
While these benefits may exist in military divorces based on the USFSPA, it's not always the case. The act does not require the state courts to divide military retirement pay, nor does it provide a formula to determine how much the former spouse should receive. There is no amount of compensation predetermined by the act; rather, it states that some spouses may recover benefits. It is important to have legal counsel who is familiar with military divorces to ensure that benefits, such as military retirement are calculated accurately, and ensure that only overlapping years of service are included in the property division.
Georgia's Military Parents Rights Act
In days of old, the time that a military parent spent away from home was time counted against him or her under custody agreements. However, the new Military Parents Rights Act protects the rights of military parents. The non-military parent cannot use service duty as a reason to request a custody modification.
In addition to the above, judges must not issue custody orders while the military parent is actively serving and deployed, or within the 90 days immediately following the military parent's return home.
Military divorces are serious matters, and they require knowledgeable representation to get through the difficult times. As such, those involved should speak with a legal professional with experience helping both military and non-military spouses. This not only positions your divorce in a favorable manner, but also allows you to protect what rights you may have under the various federal and state laws concerning these unique circumstances.
At Atlanta Family Law Group LLC, we have the experience you need and deserve. Our Atlanta military divorce attorneys are ready to help you with the complexities and nuances of this challenging situation. You can rely on our determined and passionate team to be your voice when you feel no one is listening. Call our office today at (404) 963-9452 to learn more about your rights and what can be done to help you through your military divorce.