Birmingham Military Divorce Lawyer
If you or your spouse is a member of the military, you know that it affects every area of your life. If you decide to divorce your spouse, military service will also make things more complicated. State and federal law both govern military divorce, as well as military regulations. When ending your marriage, it is important to know the rights and protections granted to you under these laws. Below, our Birmingham military divorce lawyer explains more.
The Laws that Govern Military Divorces
Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) states that military divorce proceedings are subject to state law in the jurisdiction where the divorce is filed. The USFSPA also stipulates how military retirement benefits should be divided, and the service benefits a former spouse of a military member is entitled to. The same law also outlines how alimony payments and child support is awarded during a military divorce.
Regardless of the military status of you or your spouse, a divorce will follow Alabama state law, with a few exceptions. One of these laws is the residency requirement, which states that one spouse must live in Alabama for at least six months before filing for divorce. The spouse that files for divorce can also request child and spousal support, the division of marital assets, child custody, and other requests.
Once the petition is filed, the other spouse must be notified of the divorce. The party served with divorce papers will then have an opportunity to respond. Once a response has been received, the two sides will work together to reach an agreement, draft a settlement, or litigate their case, depending on whether the case is uncontested or contested.
Federal Law that Governs Military Divorce
Military divorces are generally subject to state law. However, there are two important pieces of federal legislation that will overrule state law. They are as follows:
- Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act: Members of the military who are on active duty can ask for any civil action against them, including divorce, to be delayed. When filing a request with the court, military personnel can show that their service drastically impacts their ability to respond to a divorce complaint or appear in court. These requests are usually submitted by military members who are overseas or in another location far from home.
- The USFSPA: The USFSPA also protects military retirement funds from being used toward spousal maintenance or child support and in some cases, even property division. Before a spouse can claim any portion of a military member’s retirement benefits, they must have been married for at least ten years, and that time must have overlapped with the time of service.
Call Our Military Divorce Lawyer in Birmingham Today
Divorce always has the potential to become complex, but this holds especially true for members of the military. At Peeples Law, our Birmingham military divorce lawyer can provide the sound legal advice you need so you can make informed decisions and obtain the best outcome possible. Call us now at 205-403-5577 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.