Indianapolis Military Divorce Attorney
What Is the Difference Between Military Divorce and Civilian Divorce?
In most respects, a divorce in which one or both spouses serve in the United States military is indistinguishable from a civilian divorce. The process is generally the same; the same issues must be addressed and the outcome—a decree of dissolution of marriage—is the same. There are, however, a few aspects that differentiate military divorce from civilian cases. Get in touch with a military divorce lawyer at Bowen & Associates, LLC to learn about your options in divorce. We would be happy to answer your questions in a free consultation!
The Military Divorce Process
Before a military member can file for divorce in Indianapolis, they must meet a unique residency requirement. Military families are often re-stationed and required to move from one part of the country or world to another. Because of this, it is necessary that a service member demonstrate that they or their spouse has resided or been stationed in the state for at least six months and has lived for at least three months in the county where the petition will be filed.
Once the residency requirement has been met, the active military spouse must be personally served with a summons and a copy of the divorce action—unless the divorce is uncontested. To begin the process, all the active duty spouse must do is sign a waiver affidavit that shows his or her recognition of the divorce action. The couple can then begin working toward a favorable resolution of the long-term matters associated with their dissolution.
In Indiana, the requirements for completing a military divorce include:
- Proof of residence for either spouse
- Serving a summons to the military spouse
- Determining custody, alimony, and property division
- Attaining a ruling in a family court
Our firm is proud to represent those who are involved in the military. As you face the legal challenges presented in a military divorce, we encourage you to obtain the strong representation offered by our firm. We are dedicated to litigation and can handle your case in and out of court as we seek to accommodate your goals in a final ruling.
Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with our military divorce lawyers.
Federal Laws Affecting Military Divorce
A divorce in Indianapolis is subject to the provisions of Title 31 of the Indiana Code. Two federal laws come into play in many military divorces and may affect how and when you approach the end of your marriage. It is important to work with a divorce lawyer from our firm who understands how they may apply in your case.
Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA)
This law makes it possible to classify military retired pay as an item that can be included in the division of assets, rather than counting it as income; therefore, the spouse of a retired service member may claim a share of the service member's retirement pay. The service member may, however, claim certain deductions in order to reduce the amount of pay that may be claimed as an asset to be divided.
Additionally, the non-military spouse may continue to be eligible to receive benefits including commissary, exchange and healthcare, provided that certain circumstances are met. To be eligible for continued benefits, the service member must have performed 20 years of creditable service; the marriage must have lasted for at least 20 years; and the marriage and creditable service must have overlapped by at least 20 years.
Service Members' Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
In civilian divorces, one spouse will serve a petition for divorce to the other party. If the respondent does not file an answer and / or counterclaim within the allowed time, the petitioner may file a motion to request the judge to award the requested terms of divorce by default. In other words, the spouse who files for divorce can win the case if the other spouse does not answer quickly enough. In light of the fact that serving on active duty will often make it difficult or impossible for a service member to respond to civil lawsuits, including divorce proceedings, the SCRA enables the service member to impose a delay on the case until he or she is able to proceed.
Military Divorce and Child Support
Facing the termination of a marriage is already difficult in and of itself, especially when one party is in the military. When minor children are involved, however, the situation becomes much more complex and stressful for all parties. Parents are responsible for determining a payment plan that accounts for their needs as well as the needs of their children.
To determine child support, you must consider the following:
Additionally, a military parent must consider the statewide limitation on child support. In Indiana, child support and alimony awards cannot exceed 60% of the military member's allowances.
Military Divorce and Alimony
Alimony awards are determined by state law, not federal military laws. However, sometimes military benefits are tied into spousal support, such as limits on a divorcing spouse’s right to the military member’s medical benefits. Former spouses can keep their military medical benefits if the marriage lasted at least 20 years and the military member performed at least 20 years of service prior to the divorce.
If you need assistance determining a child supportor spousal maintenanceorder, our firm is available to ensure that your rights are fully protected. We understand that parenting after divorce is difficult and provide the support clients need through various legal challenges.
Speak With Our Military Divorce Firm Today
With the many unique issues involved in a military divorce, it is important to have experienced hands working your case. At Bowen & Associates, LLC, that is exactly what you will receive. Our firm can assist active duty members, veterans, and their spouses through their military divorce.
Before taking any further action, contact Bowen & Associates, LLC for a free case evaluation. As our client, you can benefit from our team's significant legal experience and strong commitment to litigation. We represent both military and civilian spouses, and we want to help you safeguard your personal interests.
Let us fight for you and protect your rights! Contact us now for a free consultation!