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Divorce for Military Couples in Las Vegas

Understanding Divorce for Military Couples in Las Vegas

What Military Members and Their Spouses Need to Know

Divorce is a tough time for anyone, and for couples where one or both people are in the military, it can be even more complicated.

If you’re in Las Vegas and your spouse is in the military, you should know some essential things about getting a divorce.

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The Basics of Divorce for Military Couples

First, it’s okay to feel sad or overwhelmed. Divorce means a significant change, and it’s normal for it to feel tough. In Las Vegas, just like in other places, you have to follow specific rules to get a divorce. These rules can be a little different for military couples because of military service.

How Being in the Military Affects Divorce

One big difference for military couples is how long you might wait to divorce. If you or your spouse is away on duty, the divorce could be put on hold. This is to ensure that the person away serving our country has a fair chance to be part of the process.

Dealing with Money and Benefits

Money matters can be more complicated, too. Things like military benefits, housing, and pensions must be figured out. The military has rules about who can still use these benefits after a divorce, like health care or access to the military base.

Kids and Custody Decisions

If you have kids, deciding who they will live with and when they will see each parent is another big step. This can be trickier for military families if one parent might have to move often because of their military job.

Getting Help from the Right People

It’s essential to talk to people who know all about military divorces. This means finding a lawyer who understands both the regular divorce laws in Las Vegas and the special rules for military families. They can help make sure everything is done right.

Legal Representation Tailored to Military Divorces

Hiring an attorney well-versed in military divorces is critical, as they present unique challenges and details not found in civilian divorces. A specialized attorney will understand how to handle:

  • Military Pension Division: They can advise on the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) regulations for dividing military retired pay.
  • Jurisdiction Issues: They’ll help determine the best state to file for divorce, which can affect the division of military pensions and other legal matters.
  • Benefits Retention: Guidance on whether the non-military spouse might retain benefits like commissary, exchange, and health care, depending on the length of the marriage and overlap with military service.

 

The "10/10 Rule"

A common misconception is that the “10/10 Rule” — referring to 10 years of marriage overlapping with ten years of military service — is a prerequisite for a spouse to receive a portion of the army pension. In reality, this rule only pertains to the method of payment (directly from DFAS).

Even if the marriage lasted less than ten years, the non-military spouse might still be entitled to a portion of the military pension; it would be paid differently.

Child Custody and Visitation

Military parents face unique challenges in custody arrangements. Deployment and relocations can disrupt standard custody plans. A military divorce attorney can help draft a parenting plan that includes relocation, deployment, and virtual visitation provisions. The plan might include:

  • Flexible Scheduling: Arrangements that accommodate the military member’s duty schedule, training, and possible deployments.
  • Contingency Plans: Clauses that address potential changes in custody or visitation due to military orders.

 

Spousal and Child Support

The military has strict rules ensuring service members fulfill their family support obligations. The amount of support is often influenced by:

  • Service Member’s Pay Grade: Base pay, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), and other special pay are considered when calculating support amounts.
  • State Guidelines: States have formulas for determining support, which vary considerably.

 

Protection Under SCRA

The SCRA covers divorce proceedings and other civil matters, such as foreclosure, credit card debts, and car loans. A military spouse can invoke SCRA protections to delay these civil matters while on active duty and shortly after.

Emotional Support and Counseling

The emotional toll of a military divorce can be significant. Resources like Military OneSource offer confidential counseling, while on-base family support centers provide services to help cope with the changes. Therapy, support groups, and family counseling can benefit all family members during this transition.

Transition Assistance

The military offers transition assistance programs to help service members and their families adjust to life after separation from the military. These programs can be beneficial if the divorce coincides with the end of the service member’s military career.

Finalizing the Divorce

Finalizing the divorce will involve filing the appropriate paperwork, negotiating settlement agreements, and potentially going to court. In Las Vegas, as in any jurisdiction, the local court will have specific procedures and requirements for finalizing the divorce decree. It’s essential to ensure all paperwork is carefully reviewed and all legal obligations are met to avoid future complications.

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Breaking It All Down for You

In summary, military divorces entail many complex issues that go far beyond the scope of civilian divorces.

Every aspect requires careful consideration and expertise, from the division of military benefits to child custody arrangements that factor in the transient nature of military life.

Legal counsel with military divorce experience, alongside emotional support resources, can make a significant difference in the outcome of the divorce proceedings and the well-being of everyone involved.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), and how does it affect divorce?

The SCRA is a federal law that provides various protections to active duty military members, including the potential to postpone legal proceedings such as divorce. It ensures that service members are not disadvantaged in court actions due to their military duties that prevent them from appearing in court or responding to lawsuits.

Can a military spouse get a share of the service member’s retirement if they’ve been married for less than ten years?

A military spouse can still be entitled to a portion of the service member’s retirement, even if they have been married for less than ten years. The “10/10 Rule” only affects the method of payment, not the entitlement.

How does military deployment affect child custody arrangements?

Deployment can significantly affect child custody arrangements due to the deployed parent’s absence. Custody agreements should be flexible and include provisions for deployment, such as temporary custody changes and communication plans to maintain the parent-child relationship.

Are there specific guidelines for calculating child and spousal support in the military?

Yes, the military sets guidelines for calculating child and spousal support, which consider the service member’s total pay and allowances. These guidelines are intended to ensure that service members fulfill their support obligations.

What happens to military benefits for the non-military spouse after a divorce?

Eligibility for military benefits for a non-military spouse post-divorce depends on the length of the marriage, overlap with military service, and other factors. These can include access to commissary, exchange, and health care services.

If a military member is stationed in Las Vegas but claims residency in another state, where should they file for divorce?

Where to file for divorce can depend on several factors, including state laws and the locations where the parties have significant connections. It’s essential to consult with a legal professional to determine the most advantageous and appropriate jurisdiction for filing for divorce.

How do courts handle the division of property and debts in a military divorce?

Courts will divide property and debts according to state law, considering factors unique to military service. This includes determining the marital portion of military pensions and accounting for the division of property when one spouse is deployed or frequently relocated.

What legal protections does the SCRA offer for issues other than divorce?

The SCRA offers protections for a range of civil obligations and liabilities, including foreclosure, credit card debt, and car loans, by potentially delaying court proceedings or financial transactions during active duty and for a period after.

Can a military divorce be finalized without the service member being present?

Yes, a military divorce can be finalized without the service member’s physical presence through a “default divorce” or when the service member gives a power of attorney to someone to act on their behalf. They can also participate in hearings remotely if permitted by the court.

How can military families find support during the divorce process?

Military families can access support through base family support centers, Military OneSource, and various counseling services. These resources offer assistance with the emotional and practical aspects of divorce.

What should be included in a military parenting plan?

A military parenting plan should include provisions for flexible visitation, clear communication guidelines, and arrangements for the possibility of deployment or relocation. It should also outline how parents will handle long-distance parenting if necessary.

Do state laws affect how military divorces are handled?

State laws significantly impact the process and outcome of military divorces, particularly regarding residency requirements, grounds for divorce, division of property, and custody arrangements. It’s essential to understand the state’s specific laws where the divorce is filed.

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Glossary

Active Duty: Refers to full-time duty status in the active military service, including Reserve and National Guard members when called to active duty.

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH): A U.S. military privilege provided to service members to pay for housing when government quarters are not provided.

Commissary: A grocery store on a military base that provides goods to service members and their families at reduced prices.

Default Divorce: A divorce decree that can be granted when one spouse does not respond to the court proceedings, allowing the process to proceed without them.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS): The agency responsible for calculating and processing military pay and pensions.

Deployment: The movement of military personnel and equipment to where they can carry out their mission.

Exchange: Retail stores on military installations operated by the Department of Defense serve military personnel and their families.

Flexible Visitation: A visitation schedule in a custody agreement allows for adjustments based on a parent’s military obligations.

Jurisdiction: The court’s legal authority to hear and decide a case. In the context of military divorce, it includes determining the state in which divorce proceedings can be filed.

Military OneSource: A Department of Defense-funded program that provides comprehensive information, resources, and assistance to military personnel and their families.

Military Pensions: Retirement benefits provided to military service members. In the context of divorce, it is considered a marital asset subject to division.

Military Retirement Pay: The monthly payment to eligible retired service members who have completed several years of military service.

Parenting Plan: A document that outlines how parents will raise their child following separation or divorce, including custody arrangements and visitation schedules.

Power of Attorney: A legal document that allows an individual to appoint someone else to make decisions and act on their behalf.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): A federal law that provides various protections for active duty military members, including the postponement of civil proceedings.

Stay A court order to temporarily stop a judicial proceeding or the enforcement of a judgment.

Transition Assistance: Programs designed to help military personnel and their families transition from military to civilian life.

Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA): Federal legislation that recognizes the right of state courts to distribute military retired pay to a spouse or former spouse and provides a method of enforcing these orders through the Department of Defense.

Virtual Visitation: A form of visitation in custody arrangements that uses technology, such as video calls, to allow a parent to spend time with their child remotely.

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Additional Resources for You

For those seeking guidance and assistance during challenging times, it is important to remember that Molly Rosenblum Allen, Esq., our lead attorney, has developed a comprehensive set of resources. These resources are designed to help you navigate various aspects of divorce law and proceedings. Here is an overview of the valuable information and guidance available:

  1. Las Vegas Divorce Attorney: A detailed guide covering the nuances of divorce proceedings in Las Vegas. This resource is essential for understanding local legal intricacies. Learn More

  2. Nevada Divorce: A comprehensive resource for understanding divorce laws and processes specific to the state of Nevada. Explore Here

  3. Surviving Divorce: This resource offers practical advice and strategies to emotionally and financially navigate the divorce process. Find Support

  4. What Happens If You Don’t Sign Divorce Papers: An informative guide that explains the implications and legal consequences of not signing divorce papers. Understand Your Rights

  5. Do I Need an Attorney to Get a Divorce: This resource helps you decide whether legal representation is necessary for your divorce proceedings. Make an Informed Decision

  6. What is a Collaborative Divorce: An overview of the collaborative divorce process, offering a potentially amicable and cooperative approach to divorce. Discover More

  7. How to Win a Divorce: Strategies and tips for navigating the divorce process successfully. Get Insight

  8. Switching Lawyers During Divorce: Guidance on how and when it might be necessary to change legal representation during a divorce. Learn the Process

  9. How Long Does a Divorce Take in Nevada: An informative piece providing timelines and factors affecting the duration of divorce proceedings in Nevada. Understand the Timeline

  10. High Conflict Divorce: Advice and strategies for managing and navigating through high-conflict divorce situations. Navigate Conflict

  11. Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer: A comprehensive list of questions to consider when consulting with a divorce attorney. Prepare for Consultation

Each of these resources is tailored to provide support and clarity during the often complex and emotional process of divorce.

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Offsite Resources You May Find Helpful

He are offsite resources that offer valuable information related to divorce and legal separation. These websites can provide further insight and assistance on various related topics:

These websites are starting points for readers to seek additional information and should be used in conjunction with professional advice tailored to individual circumstances.

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A Special Message From Our Lead Attorney

Headshot of Molly Rosenblum Allen, attorney at law, with long blond hair and wearing a black blazer. Molly Rosenblum Allen is the founder and managing attorney of Rosenblum Allen Law.

Molly Rosenblum, Esq

Dear Reader,

Thank you for taking the time to engage with our divorce resources.

I hope you have found them informative and empowering as you navigate this complex journey.

My team and I understand that each situation is unique, and we are here to provide the personalized support and legal guidance you need.

To discuss your case’s specifics and understand how we can assist you further, I invite you to call us at (702) 433-2889.

Together, we can work to address your concerns and take proactive steps toward a resolution that serves your best interests.

Warm regards,
Molly Rosenblum, Esq.

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