Experienced San Diego Military Divorce Attorneys

military divorce san diego

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 unique regulations. At Fair Cadora our attorneys routinely represent servicemembers and military spouses in family law matters and know what is important to protect in these cases.

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

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

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:

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 can 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 (SCRA). The SCRA allows active duty servicemembers to request a delay in the divorce proceedings if those duties prevent participation or response to the court action.

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 servicemembers in different ways. Servicemembers receive base pay, and many also earn basic allowances for housing and subsistence. In addition, a servicemember may receive additional, variable pay, such as hazardous duty pay, jump pay, or other job-duty-specific pay. Some of these pay categories are taxable and some are non-taxable. In addition, despite being stationed in a state such as California, servicemembers may actually be subject to the income tax laws of another state, where their home of record is located, which can affect the child support calculation. It is important that the inputs into the child support calculator be correct. We can help you achieve an accurate calculation.

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, TRICARE coverage may or may not be available to you after divorce. It is important to know if you qualify to continue on TRICARE or whether you will need to seek alternative coverage upon divorce, what the cost of that coverage may be, and how that may play into your need for support after divorce.

Dividing Military Pensions and Retirement in California

Dividing military retired pay is a complex area of the law. Military retired pay division orders vary in their content depending upon a variety of factors, including whether the service member is still on active duty, is already retired, and whether the military retired pay is an active-duty retirement or retirement for reservists. Another issue to be addressed in military retired pay division is whether the Survivor Benefit Plan coverage will be elected for the non-military spouse and, if so, who will bear the cost of it. Our attorneys are experienced in crafting and reviewing orders for the division of military retired pay.

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 divorce 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 family law attorneys to schedule a case evaluation.

Request Case Evaluation

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 a paid strategy session to all potential clients. We want you to have the chance to connect with us and gain your trust, while receiving valuable advice and insight about your situation. During a strategy session, we will review the details of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your legal options. The quality of our work and advice during a strategy session will allow you to make an informed decision about the next steps in your case and assess if it feels like a fit for us to work together. The first step is to request a case evaluation.

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filing divorce papers

Frequently Asked Questions

Military divorce jurisdiction in California is based on residency. Either spouse must meet the state’s residency requirements, which typically involve living in California for six months and in the county where the divorce is filed for three months.

The military has its guidelines for support, but California courts have the authority to make orders regarding child support and spousal support. These orders can be enforced through the military chain of command and garnishment of pay through DFAS.

Yes, certain military benefits, including retired pay, can be subject to division in a California divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) allows state courts to distribute these benefits as part of the community property. However other types of military benefits, such as VA disability pay, may not be divisible as community property.

The non-military spouse may be eligible for continued healthcare benefits through the Department of Defense if certain criteria are met. The 20/20/20 rule, which includes at least 20 years of marriage overlapping with 20 years of military service, is crucial for continued benefits.

Military service may impact child custody arrangements due to deployments and relocations. Courts consider the best interests of the child and aim to create a custody plan that accommodates the unique challenges presented by military life.