If you are in the military or a military spouse, there are some additional factors that can affect your divorce. For instance, the process may take longer if one of you is on active duty in a remote area or have a permanent station overseas. There are some states that have relaxed the residency requirements for active duty service personnel who want to file for divorce in the state he or she is stationed. Besides understanding the basic divorce process, military couples should be knowledgeable about the role of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act.
While states have always had the authority to treat retirement and pension plans just like any other marital asset, the USFSPA permits the states to classify military retired pay as property, as opposed to income. Direct retirement payments are made through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. In order for the military to provide direct retirement payments to an ex-spouse, the couple must have been married 10 years overlapping with 10 years of service.
For example, if you were married for 12 years, and one spouse was in the military for seven of those 12 years of marriage, the other spouse would not be entitled to a direct payment from DFAS. If you were married for 12 years, and one spouse was in the military for 10 of those 12 years, the other spouse would be entitled to a direct payment from DFAS. Depending upon the state's date of division, the amount of time you have been married may be judged by different criteria. This means that Texas may view you as being married nine years, while California considers you having been married 10 years.
Not qualifying for the DFAS direct pay does not mean you are ineligible to a portion of the payment. In order to receive your portion, the criteria would need to be included as part of the divorce settlement agreement. Keep in mind that the award of military retired pay may be in addition to child support, and alimony or maintenance. Once the order is filed with DFAS, it will take three months 90 days for the direct payments to begin if the ex-spouse is already receiving their pension.
In the situation of active military members, the payments will begin 90 days after the newly retired member becomes entitled to receive their first payment. There are different methods of calculating what percentage of the pension to which ex-spouses are entitled. The document filed with the court will need to clearly state the formula used to derive the amount of payment. An agreement, of course, would probably be the cheapest way to resolve this issue, but that's not always possible if the two of you don't see eye-to-eye.
Talk to your lawyer about this also. Make a list for him or her of all the property either of you has acquired during the marriage real estate, motor vehicles, bank accounts, household furnishings, stocks and investments, retirement assets to make easier the job of deciding on whether an agreement can be reached. And don't forget the debts that either or both of you accumulated for marital purposes during the marriage. American courts are required by the U.
Constitution to recognize and honor the orders and decree of their sister states so Kentucky , for example, would have to honor and enforce a divorce decree from Arizona. But U. A divorce decree and child support order from Belgium , for example, may not be honored in Florida.
Everything to Know About Military Divorce in Colorado
If you get a decree of divorce and custody in Korea , it need not be recognized and enforced in California. And the courts of foreign countries cannot divide military pension benefits -- this can only be done by an American court and should be requested in court papers before the divorce is granted. Be sure you know these rules before you choose to go to court overseas. The judge is the person who grants a divorce, not your spouse. If your spouse won't cooperate with you, it will take longer and probably cost more to get your divorce, but you can still get one.
In all states, you may file for divorce only if you have been a resident for at least some period of time, often six months prior to the date of filing. You may also file for divorce in the state where your spouse is a legal resident. In addition, a court order for child custody usually requires that you file in the state where the child has been living for the six months immediately preceding the filing of the lawsuit.
After filing your divorce paperwork at the courthouse, your lawyer will serve a copy of the summons and complaint on your spouse. If your spouse consents or does not file an answer within the time allowed, usually a few weeks after being served, the judge may then grant your divorce, or it may be held up till all of your issues are resolved.
If your spouse files an answer contesting the divorce, then a trial date will be set.click
OVERSEAS DIVORCE ISSUES - EUROPE
At the trial, both of you will be allowed to testify, and then the judge will decide whether to grant the divorce. In some states the judge will also decide how to split up your property and debts, and all the other issues involved in your case. It would be very unusual for the judge not to grant a divorce, but the property and custody arrangements may not be what you asked for. Not really. If you believe everything you see , you may remember seeing ads for quickie foreign divorces, but don't be fooled.
The U. And if you have your spouse's consent, it's usually cheaper to file in the U. Not always. In some states there is a waiting period after entry of judgment before the divorce becomes final. In other states, it's final when signed by the judge.
The Law Concerning Military Service Members
When in doubt, ask your divorce attorney or check the divorce judgment itself -- the decree may state its effective date. If you've already reached agreement on all the issues and you want the lawyer simply to write down your agreements in a format that can be signed by both of you for your separation agreement; or. If you are likely to reach agreement on all of the important issues involved in your divorce or separation, and the lawyer is not acting as an advocate for either party, but rather as an impartial mediator who provides information to both parties and discusses possible solutions to the issues involved in the divorce or separation.
Spouses who are able to cooperate with each other to resolve these issues fairly and amicably can often get a separation agreement faster and easier through mediation than through traditional negotiations or trial. This means that he or she could not be loyal to one of you without doing a disservice to the other. A lawyer cannot have two clients in a divorce case, since whatever he or she gains from one will usually be at the expense of the other.
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For example, if the lawyer works toward getting lots of alimony for Mrs. The military spouse should file a disclaimer with AAFES and other check-cashing facilities to avoid being held liable for the non-military spouse's bad checks, and he or she should put a block on DPP or similar plans at AAFES for the same reason. AAFES disclaimers must be renewed every year until the divorce becomes final. To change court-ordered child support, you must go back to court and ask the judge to make the change.
You will be asked to move out of the government quarters, usually within 30 to 60 days. Divorce Overview: To file for divorce in Germany assuming one of you is a legal resident of the country , you must have lived apart for at least one full year to get an uncontested divorce, and at least three full years to get a contested divorce.
The only ground for a divorce is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This means that, by law, the judge not only has to address the issue of the dissolution of the marriage but also of custody, child support, spousal support and retirement benefits, both military and civilian. All the other issues will only be addressed on a petition to the court. Retirement benefits and marital property money, bank accounts, real property, debts are two completely different issues in Germany and they are always treated separately.
Also household goods are subject to specific legal provisions. Other specific points are:. Even if the judge states and this often occurs that he or she will not decide the issue of retirement benefits but will leave it open to the parties to reach an agreement about solving the problem, this probably won't solve anything. Here's why:. Only a handful of lawyers in Germany really know how to do it and their experience only covers a possible agreement between two Germans. And even if such a contract were signed, it does not provide the same protection as a court order for custody, child support or spousal support, and a contract on military pension division simply won't be recognized in the United States when the nonmilitary spouse applies for a division of her husband's pension payments.
In this case, because the nonmilitary spouse ordinarily the wife waited too long , she may be unable to receive any portion of her husband's retirement. Divorce Procedure: If both spouses agree, the marriage will be dissolved after this one year.
Divorce Support - Texas Military Divorce Laws
If one of them contests it, the judge will look for evidence of the breakdown and, if he finds it living separate will very often be sufficient anyway he will issue the divorce after all. The breakdown of the marriage is presumed by law if the spouses have lived separate for three years. The judge will most likely grant the divorce at the initial hearing if the divorce is not contested, but this doesn't mean that the divorce is final yet or the parties are legally divorced at that time. In Germany it is possible to appeal a divorce decree, just like any other civil judgment from a court.
The time for appeal is within one month after the parties have been served with the divorce decree. After that time is up, the decree is final and the parties are legally divorced. It is possible to finalize the divorce right at the hearing if both parties waive the right to appeal.
But in order to do this, both parties must be represented by attorneys to make and accept this petition to the judge. If one party does not want to be divorced quickly, the other will have to wait at least a month for the divorce decree to become final. Use of Separation Agreements: Separation agreements are not that common in Germany. Under normal circumstances, an ordinary couple with a normal income would not sign one because it has to be drafted by and signed before a German Notary Public who will charge a considerable fee for these services.
In the divorce procedure both parties might still need a lawyer.
So why spend money twice? It is more common to sign a marital agreement right after the marriage, especially if there is a lot of money or some real property involved. NOTE: If two nationalities are involved, a separation agreement will be even more complicated because it will be difficult to find a German Notary who speaks English well enough to explain the legal questions involved. By the way, a German Notary is legally liable for the contents of the document that he or she drafts, as well as for the correctness of its form!
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