When spouses choose to divorce, the process is rarely easy. As negotiations begin, there are likely to be disagreements about how certain aspects of the divorce should be settled. While any divorce has the potential to be complex, matters can be particularly complicated when one or both spouses is an active duty military service member.
Divorce lawyer Jeffrey W. Goldblatt has assisted many military members and military spouses in East Brunswick, NJ, Freehold, NJ, Wall, NJ, and surrounding areas as they navigate a military divorce. Here he explains how the military lifestyle may affect key areas of divorce negotiations.
Child Custody and Support
Military spouses often have young children, which means that matters of child custody and child support are usually a top priority in a divorce.
In most cases, the court prefers to award joint custody to divorcing spouses, because it is in the best interest of the child to spend equal time with both of their parents. However, in a military divorce, joint physical custody may not always be practical. The lifestyle of an active duty service member often involves frequent moves and long deployments, which is taken into consideration when coming to a child custody agreement. While both parents should be granted parenting time, it is not unusual for one parent in a military divorce to be awarded sole physical custody.
Child support is often directly related to child custody arrangements, so this can also be affected by the military lifestyle. If one spouse is granted sole physical custody, the other parent will likely be ordered to make child support payments. Even if a joint custody agreement can be reached, one parent may owe child support payments to the other parent if they earn a larger income.
Spousal support is not due in every divorce, but it often comes into play in a military divorce. The military lifestyle can make it difficult for the non-military member to hold a full-time job, either due to frequent moves, or the need to stay home and care for children while the military member is working or serving on deployment. If a military spouse is unemployed or earns significantly less money, they are likely entitled to spousal support.
If a military service member retires after 20 years or more of service, they are entitled to pension payments for the rest of their lives. In a military divorce, it is important to determine how earned pension will be divided. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, military pensions are considered marital properly. Standard guidelines assert that any spouse who has been married to a service member for 10 or more years is entitled to half the pension. However, this is negotiable. Either spouse is able to request that the other receives more or less of the pension, though they would have to present evidence to support the reason for their request.
Contact Jeffrey W. Goldblatt Esq.
Whether you are going through a civilian divorce or a military divorce, it is best to have a knowledgeable divorce lawyer working on your behalf. To find out how attorney Jeffrey W. Goldblatt can help you reach a favorable divorce settlement, send us a message online, or call (732) 238-8700 to schedule a consultation.