Military Divorce Lawyer
Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP can help you navigate the special rules involved in a military divorce
In many ways, military divorces are treated the same as civilian divorces in California. Divorce may still be sought for any reason at all, without the need to prove fault or wrong-doing. However, there are a few important differences involved in divorces where one or both partners are engaged in active duty military service. As your military divorce attorney, Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP can help ensure you understand these differences and guide you through the entire process from start to finish.
Serving Divorce Papers to a Military Spouse
If your spouse is on active military service anywhere in the world, you may file divorce papers in a California court, provided your spouse resides or is stationed in California. However, in order for the California court to have jurisdiction, your spouse must be personally served a copy of the summons and the divorce action. Alternatively, if the divorce is uncontested, the military spouse may sign a waiver affidavit for this same purpose.
Extension of Default Dissolution Time Frame
In the state of California, a civilian marriage can be dissolved through a “default” termination if the party who has been served papers does not respond after 6 months. In order to protect military service men and women from being divorced while serving overseas and unable to properly respond, a different standard applies to military marriages. The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act provides for a default divorce proceeding to be postponed while the service member is on active duty and for up to 60 days thereafter.
Special Support & Property Division Provisions
When drafting child support, spousal support, and property division agreements in a military divorce, some special requirements must be considered. This makes it vital to have a skilled military divorce attorney assist you in preparing your case.
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act applies in cases where the couple was married during at least 10 years of active military service. It allows for the former spouse to automatically receive a portion of the service member’s retirement benefits as part of their spousal support.
Special rules also apply to the calculation of child support. While the California Guideline Calculation will still be used, the court may not order support payments in excess of 60 percent of the military service member’s pay.
Why Choose Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP as Your Military Divorce Attorney
Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP has ample experience in military divorce cases. We understand the special requirements involved in such cases, and we can guide you through every step of the process of divorcing a military service member. As your military divorce attorney, we will keep you 100 percent involved and updated on the progress of your case and make sure you understand all your rights and options.