Arizona divorce laws are not any different for members of the military, but there are a separate set of guidelines which need to be followed in the case of a spouse who is either deployed or relocated. Military divorces can be much more complicated to handle than a regular dissolution of marriage. The deployment or relocation of a military member does not stop divorce proceedings, though they can be delayed, and military personnel usually need an experienced attorney to fight on their behalf.
There are a number of ways the attorneys at Gillespie, Shields & Taylor can represent military members in a divorce case, including telecommunication. Additionally, we create effective strategies to handle military benefits, income, and assets in relation to divorce proceedings. Our attorneys have 30 years of experience in all concentrations of family law, including military divorce. We have been providing our expertise in Phoenix, AZ and surrounding communities since 1985.
How a Military Divorce Differs From Civilian Divorce
Military divorces follow all the same procedures as a traditional divorce, including property and asset division and child custody and support arrangements. However, because military personnel are oftentimes not present or close by, a variety of complications can arise. These can range from active deployment to visitation arrangements to spousal support. The Service Members Civil Relief Act protects deployed soldiers from divorce without their knowledge. It requires that divorce proceedings either be postponed until 60 days after their return or that the deployed spouse waives his or her rights to a postponement.
Alternatively, military members on active duty can choose to communicate via telephone if they wish to continue divorce proceedings. Grounds for divorce are the same for both military members and non-military members. Arizona is a no-fault state, meaning that either spouse can file for divorce solely on the grounds of a marriage being irretrievably broken. Just like with civilian divorces, military divorces have a residency requirement of 90 days.
Property Division and Military Benefits
Property and asset division are similar to civilian divorce cases. However, military benefits are governed under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, which allows the federal government to control how benefits are calculated and divided. This act states that only spouses of military members that were married for ten years or longer can receive benefits after the divorce. Property is divided and distributed up by the state; however, military members can at times be at a disadvantage in this case.
You will need someone to look over your property to make sure it is divided properly. Child support is calculated similarly to civilian matters, but the support amount may not exceed 60% of a military members pay. Otherwise, the same formulas are used by looking at income and several other factors. Because the state of Arizona always keeps the child’s best interest in mind, custody arrangements can be difficult to resolve in military divorces. Let an experienced attorney who specializes in military divorce represent you.
Your Phoenix, AZ Military Divorce Attorneys
At Gillespie, Shields & Taylor, we can represent you effectively in your military divorce case. With an attorney that is a former Active Duty JAG Officer, we have the experience and understanding to offer exceptional legal counsel. Our attorneys keep all lines of communication open at all times.
We know it can be tricky to stay in touch during active duty, so we make ourselves available to you at any time of day. We can handle all matters as your chosen Phoenix divorce lawyer, including property division, custody and support, military retirement benefits, and more. We take the time to listen to our clients before developing a strategy based on their needs. We take pride in providing our clients with exceptional value and effective representation.
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