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Posted By Fair Cadora, APC

San Diego is in close proximity to several military bases, including Point Loma and Camp Pendleton, meaning many San Diego residents have connections to the military or are active service members. Maintaining a family while serving your country can be a very difficult situation to balance, and unfortunately some cannot live up to the task, resulting in a couple wishing to divorce.

Much like their civilian counterparts, the process for a military divorce involves determining things such as child custody, asset division, spousal support, child support and more, however the military also has their own protocol that must be followed. Let’s examine a few of the differences.

Serving Notice to an Active Military Spouse

Serving your spouse notice of a divorce is slightly different. Because military family members move around so much, you must personally serve them a summons and a copy of the divorce action in order for California to have the jurisdiction. In uncontested cases, you may not have to serve your spouse, so long as they file a waiver acknowledging they are aware of the divorce process or have counsel either retained or appointed by the court.


As stated, military families move around a lot and are often transferred to different stations. In order to be eligible in California, you and your spouse must reside there, or you must currently be stationed there.

Property Division

Dividing property during a divorce is slightly different due to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act. This is essentially a legally-mandated way of calculating the division of military retirement benefits during a divorce, usually requiring a direct payment of retiree pay to their former spouse.

Child Support

California military divorces forbid any awards for child support and spousal support to be more than 60% of a military member’s pay and allowances. The amounts are determined using the usual schedules and worksheets, but also keep in mind this strict limit.

If you or your spouse are actively serving in our military at either Point Loma or Camp Pendleton and need assistance with a divorce case, speak with a skilled San Diego divorce attorney from Fair Cadora, APC. Trust your case to a legal representative that has been Board Certified in Family Law by the California State Board of Legal Specialization.

Please call the firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.

Posted By Fair Cadora, APC

When going through a divorce with children, the child custody and visitation negotiations can be some of the most difficult parts of a divorce to agree on, which means the court usually has to get involved. Many people are confused as to what the court takes into account when awarding child custody, and they come to us with a number of questions. Here are a few of the more common ones and some generalized answers.

Do courts automatically prefer mothers?
It used to be true that courts tended to side more frequently with a child’s mother in a divorce and child custody case. However, in recent years this has since changed and both spouses are now required by law to be given equal consideration for child custody. It’s important to note that this is only true if a child’s parents are married. If they are not, a father must establish legal paternity in order to maintain his claim to visitation and custody rights.

Can my child choose which parent they want to live with?
It is not uncommon for a judge to take the testimony of a more mature child into account when making a custody decision. However, this is not the only factor; if the parent the child chooses will clearly be worse for their well-being, they may choose to go with a different parent anyway. For example, if one parent has a documented history of abuse or alcoholism, the court most likely will choose not to award them custody, even if a mature child requests it.

What are different types of custody?
There are two different types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is which parent has the responsibility for physical care of the child, while legal custody is the ability to make decisions regarding important factors, such as where children go to school, what kind of healthcare they will receive, and what kind of religion they will be taught (if any).

What if I have to move after getting a divorce?
This isn’t unheard of; sometimes people get a new job in a new place or need to move to be closer to family after a divorce. If you have full custody in both the physical and legal sense, you will likely be able to relocate without issue. However, if you are sharing custody, you will likely need to petition the court to allow your relocation with the children. If the other parent contests this, it is strongly advised you seek counsel from an attorney.

At Fair Cadora, APC, our counsel has provided guidance for those going through the divorce process. Our San Diego family attorneys know the stress and difficulties a divorce case can bring, which is why we strive to provide all of our clients with compassionate and reliable representation. Attorney Lauren Fair has been named a Board Certified Family Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

Please call the firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.

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