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Experienced San Diego Military Divorce Attorney

Military Divorces in San Diego

While civilian divorces offer a specific set of challenges and obstacles to overcome, divorces that pertain to individuals in the military offer an additional set of regulations and restrictions. California offers a special set of rules for military service members who are living overseas or are deployed. At Fair Cadora our firm has experience handling military divorce cases. Our attorneys have studied military divorce law and can provide you with a step-by-step breakdown of the divorce process regardless of how far along you are in the process. 


If you or a loved one is in the military, the following may affect your divorce:

  • Deployment status
  • Rank
  • Prior military service
  • Pay structure
  • Benefits

In addition to your military divorce, you may also need legal assistance with child support, spousal support, and custody and visitation.

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Filing For A Military Divorce in California

In order to file for any divorce in California, one spouse must reside in the state for six months. 

For those seeking a divorce while in the military, there are a few different options for which jurisdictions you may be eligible to file in:

  • The state where the military member claims legal residence
  • The state where the non-military member spouse resides
  • The state where the military service member is stationed

While the above jurisdictions could all be valid, states may handle the division of military pensions differently. However, under federal law, the state of the military member’s legal residence will always have the power to determine dividing a military pension in a divorce. 

When filing for a divorce that includes one or both spouses as members of the military, there can be additional layers of logistics to sort through not typical in a traditional civilian divorce, so it is crucial for the success of your military divorce to work with an experienced attorney who knows and works with the intricacies involved in a military divorce. 

Timing Associated With A Military Divorce in San Diego

When a spouse files for a divorce, there is a set amount of time indicated for the response. However, the timing associated with a military divorce in California may differ because of the Service Members Civil Relief Act. The SCRA allows active duty service members to request a delay in the divorce proceedings if those duties prevent participation or response to the court action. Military personnel can also request a 60 delay from the conclusion of their enlistment. The initial delay can last at least 90 days, but the divorce cannot be delayed indefinitely. 

A military divorce may have unexpected hurdles relating to one of the spouses active duties, so be prepared for the divorce process to drag out longer than you may have hoped for. The sooner you start your military divorce, the sooner it can be over.

Child Support in A Military Divorce

Calculating child support in a military divorce can be tricky in the state of California. Child support is based on a spouse’s income, but the United States military compensates service members in different ways. Service members receive a base salary, and many also earn basic allowances for housing and sustenance. On one hand, these additional funds are not considered for federal income taxes, making an argument that these funds should also not count as income for child support purposes. On the other hand, these living expenses reduce the service members immediate living expenses making the argument that these allowances should be accounted for in child support. The California Court Of Appeals officially declared that basic allowances for housing and substance are eligible to count towards income for child support. 

Health Insurance After A Military Divorce

If you are the service member spouse, a divorce should not impact your health insurance. However, for the non-military spouse there are two routes they can go after a divorce. If the marriage lasted 20 or more years during active service, they can get coverage for no cost under TRICARE. The other health insurance option is the Continued Health Care Benefit Program, which would come with a cost.

Dividing Military Pensions and Retirement in California

Military retirement plans do not have a specific value that can be easily divided in a divorce. If the marriage lasted 20 or more years during military service, the non-service member spouse will be entitled to a share of the military pension and other benefits. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act allows state courts to determine if and how to divy a military retirement in a divorce.

Working With An Attorney For Military Divorce in San Diego

Any divorce proceeding is likely to have some bumps in the road, but military divorces in San Diego come with a unique set of challenges. Not all California family law attorneys understand the nuances of military divorce or the necessary procedures and laws involved. At Fair Cadora, our San Diego divorce lawyers have a proven track record handling these cases and will go above and beyond to ensure that your case is handled with the utmost care and attention.

Schedule a Consultation with One of Our Expert San Diego Military Divorce Lawyers

At Fair Cadora we offer a free case evaluation for potential new clients to help take some of the pressure off the child support process. We like for our potential new clients to get to know us and get a feel for our practice, so they can feel confident with our representation. If you’re facing a child support issue and not sure where to start, contact one of our experienced San Diego child support attorneys to schedule a consultation.

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At Fair Cadora, we understand that family law cases can be overwhelming and stressful. The attorney you choose can make or break your case. That’s why we offer case evaluations to all potential clients. We want you to have the chance to connect with us and gain your trust, without added pressure. During a case evaluation, we will review the details of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your legal options. This allows our clients to make informed decisions about their case. We believe that offering case evaluations is an essential part of our commitment to providing high-quality legal representation to the San Diego community.