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Choose the Right Military Divorce Attorney for Your Case

Posted on: August 25, 2018

Choose the Right Military Divorce Attorney for Your Case

In some ways, a military divorce is just like a civilian divorce in California. For example, a divorce can be requested for any reason and neither side needs to prove fault or that the other engaged in wrong-doing. That said, there are major differences between military divorces and civilian divorces. This is especially true if one or both partners is active duty.

When choosing a military divorce attorney, you do not want to simply choose any attorney and assume that they can get up to speed. Choose an attorney such as Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP that has worked on many similar cases in the past. We can guide you through the process from beginning to end.

How to serve divorce papers to a military spouse

If your spouse is active duty anywhere in the world, then you can file your divorce papers in California courts – but only if they reside in or are stationed in California. Further, in order for the state to have jurisdiction, your spouse must be served a copy of the summons and of the divorce action. The only exception is a situation in which your spouse does not contest the divorce. They can then sign a waiver that states this.

Understanding default dissolution

California law allows that civilian marriages can be dissolved via default termination if the party who received papers does not respond with six months. This is different with military divorces, primarily to prevent a person serving overseas to not have the chance to respond to the divorce. As a result, there is a different standard.

The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act covers default divorce proceedings and states that they must be postponed while the service member is on active duty. They have 60 days once they are no longer on active duty to respond.

There may be unique support and property division issues

There are a few special considerations that must be made when creating child support or spousal support agreements, or when dividing property. If the couple was married for more than a decade during active duty, then the former spouse will get a portion of their spouses retirement benefits – this is an automatic decision.

There are also different rules used to calculate child support. The court will still use the California Guideline Calculation, but the court cannot order the serviceperson to pay more than 60% of their pay. There are of course exceptions to this situation, such as a serviceperson who has amassed a lot of person wealth.

Call now for help with military divorce proceedings

These are just a few of the ways that military divorces are unique. If you want to talk to an attorney who understands your situation then we welcome your call to Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP at 909-482-1422. This is a confidential call and we can set you up with a consultation so that you will better understand your specific options.

Kristina Kendall-Gkikas
Kendall & Gkikas LLP
143 N. Harvard Avenue, 2nd Floor
Claremont, CA, 91711 USA