If you are getting divorced and one or both partners are in the military, the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC are military divorce lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina who may be able to help you. While the military divorce process for military couples will mostly be the same as for civilian divorces, when it comes to residency requirements, division of military pensions and benefits, and questions of child custody, military divorces can raise unique questions and issues. The Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC are divorce attorneys in Greenville, South Carolina who can help you with the divorce process, particularly with the questions that may arise with your military divorce.
Residency and Military Divorce in South Carolina
One of the biggest challenges military couples will face when filing for divorce will be determining where they should file. Every state has its unique divorce laws and residency requirements. Military couples may have a state of primary residence and they may be stationed in South Carolina. Or, one partner may be stationed in South Carolina, while the other partner might live in another state or vice-versa. In order to file for divorce in South Carolina, couples must generally meet residency requirements. For civilian divorces, one or both individuals must establish residency in South Carolina by living in the state for at least 12 months before filing for divorce. Military service members may be able to file for divorce in South Carolina if they have been stationed in the state for at least a year.
Military divorce issues can be complicated if there are children involved, because there are situations that could arise where South Carolina may have jurisdiction about child custody matters but where the state may not have jurisdiction over matters of divorce. Furthermore, divorce can get complicated for military couples if one person is away on active military service. Under the law, no default judgement for divorce can be issued if a military service member fails to respond to a petition for divorce. So, if you and your former partner disagree about getting divorced or disagree about the terms of the divorce, you may have to wait until your military partner returns from active duty. The law may also require that you wait several months before a default judgement can be issued. However, if you and your partner agree to the divorce moving forward, then it may still be possible to file for divorce while one or both parties are on active duty.
If you qualify to file for divorce in South Carolina and also in your state of primary residence, you may be wondering where you should file for divorce. Where you’ll want to file for divorce will depend on where your children reside and the particulars of your given situation. If you have questions about filing for a military divorce in South Carolina, reach out to the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC in Greenville, South Carolina today.
In many ways civilian and military divorces are similar in that couples need to divide their assets and debts. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, military couples who have been married for at least ten years may be entitled to certain benefits after divorce. When the ten years of marriage overlap with the military spouse’s service, the non-military spouse may be entitled to receive pension benefits directly from the military. What if you have been married for fewer than ten years? The non-military spouse may still be entitled to receive pension benefits, but the payment of these benefits may need to be arranged through the divorce settlement and paid from one partner directly to the other. When military couples have been married for 20 or more years and when 20 years of service overlaps with the marriage, the non-military spouse may be entitled to continue to receive medical, commissary, and other benefits.
What happens if you are living on base with your partner? First of all, you are allowed to continue to live on base with your partner until your divorce is finalized. However, depending on how long you have been married, you may need to move off base once the divorce is finalized. If you have questions about division of assets, pensions, and real estate, or debts with your military divorce, consider speaking to the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC in Greenville, South Carolina, today.
Child Custody and Child Support in a Military Divorce
Child custody matters can sometimes get complicated with military divorces, especially if the couple lives in different states. The couple may need to file for divorce and submit a parenting plan in the state where the children live. If one parent is stationed out of state or abroad, the parenting plan will need to consider how parenting time will be arranged while the military parent is away. Some couples choose to arrange parenting time over holidays or vacations.
Another issue that can arise pertains to child support. While the process of getting an order for child support will be similar for civilian and military divorces, the custodial parent may have more options for collecting child support from the military spouse through military channels. If you have questions about child support, custody, or parenting time with a military divorce, the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, are divorce lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina who may be able to assist you with the process.
Contact the Hayes Law Firm for Your Military Divorce Needs
While many aspects of a military divorce will be similar to a civilian divorce, there are certain circumstances where military divorce can raise unique issues and consequences. If you have questions about residency, questions about how military pensions should be divided, or are concerned about whether you will continue to be able to access military housing during or after your divorce, the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC are divorce lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina who can help you understand your rights and options under the law. We are here to help. You are not alone.