Highly Regarded Orange County Military Divorce Law Firm
The Law Offices of James P. Cronn knows divorce can be cumbersome. But military divorce reaches a whole new level of difficulty. With all of the military divorce complications not known in civilian divorce, it is important to have a trusted military divorce attorney at your side to protect your interests. Our office has 15 years of experience handling military divorces in California, so we understand the effect federal law has on the dissolution of your marriage. We are committed to making sure your financial and legal interests are properly represented.
Division of Military Benefits upon Divorce
Ordinary retirement pay in California is typically considered community property subject to equitable division upon divorce. The same can also be said for a military pension, although simply being the spouse of a servicemember does not guarantee a marital share. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) provides that state courts may decide whether and in what manner to divide military retirement pay between spouses. The attorneys at the Law Offices of James P. Cronn play a critical role in the potential inclusion of military retirement pay in the equitable division of marital property.
Military Benefits for Former Spouses Under the USFSPA
Servicemembers’ former spouses may enjoy certain medical, commissary and exchange benefits and privileges after divorce under the USFSPA. Eligibility for full benefits is limited to spouses of servicemembers with at least 20 years of service creditable for retired pay in marriages lasting 20 years or more, with no less than 20 years of overlap between marriage and military service. Former spouses with less than 20 years of overlap but at least 15 and who otherwise meet the requirements of the 20/20/20 rule above are also eligible, but only for one-year transitional benefits.
Calculating Child Support for Servicemembers in California
Military pay consists of basic pay and allowances. A servicemembers’ basic pay varies depending on their military rank or grade. This is the gross income servicemembers report for income tax purposes. Allowances are additional compensation servicemembers earn for different things like housing—Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)—and food. Although BAH and other allowances and bonuses are income tax free, these amounts must still be considered for the purpose of child support. In certain circumstances the government may garnish servicemembers’ wages if they fall behind or outright ignore their child support obligation.
Military Move Away Orders
Being in the military means frequent relocation. Servicemembers with legal custody of a child are often ordered to move to another base in a different city, state, or even country. The decision whether servicemember custodial parents can move with a child is one left to the discretion of the court. If you are seeking or opposing a move away order, it is critical to enlist the legal help of a military divorce lawyer who Orange County residents trust. Our office has had considerable success handling this and other military divorce issues since 1997. We can make sure your parental rights are fully represented.
Consult an Experienced Attorney Today
Contact the Law Offices of James P. Cronn if you or someone you know is going through a military divorce. Our office can help. We offer free consultations to all incoming clients.