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Military Divorce

With so many military installations in and around the area, Colorado Springs divorce attorneys are asked often about how eligibility for a military dependent ID card is affected by divorce. As you may know if you or a family member has ever served in the military, those who serve our country in the armed forces are entitled to a number of privileges that are not available to the public at large.

The right to enjoy some of the privileges earned for their service is shared by the dependents of the service members who are issued their own military dependent ID card. With this ID card, military dependents too can make use of various the facilities and privileges reserved for those who sacrifice so much of their lives in service to our country. I should also note here that National Guard and Reserve member dependent’s benefits might vary depending on whether or not the service member is on active duty.

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military divorceIn Colorado Springs, it's not uncommon for divorce lawyers to specialize in military divorce. There are several areas in which an experienced attorney can help clients avoid costly errors. In reality, not every family law firm has experience in this area. One way to find out if your attorney is truly skilled in military divorce is to ask specific questions. For instance, your lawyer should be able to tell you about some of the most common mistakes people make in these situations. Here are some examples.

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military_divorce_coupleIf there is one thing that can make a military service member nervous it is the thought of losing part of his or her retired pay in a divorce settlement.  It doesn’t matter if one served on the front lines in Afghanistan or Iraq, or as an officer at the U.S. Air Force Academy, military personnel depend heavily on their retirement benefits as a reward for their years of sacrifice to our country.  However, it is important to note that many states’ divorce laws might require the equitable distribution of all marital assets; service members included.  It’s no surprise that questions about military pay are the first to come up when a service member talks to a divorce lawyer.

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taxes_and_divorceWhen marital vows break down, most military people are thinking about their immediate needs; a lawyer, separate checking accounts, a property settlement and a fair distribution of assets. Unless tax time is just around the corner, chances are that most couples aren't thinking about the impact of divorce on their taxes. But divorce may have a serious effect on how you file your tax returns, and it might be something worth discussing well in advance of April 15th.

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military_spousesPeople who live outside of the military culture may not have an honest perspective on what it is really like – particularly for women who are “married to the military.”  If you are a military wife and a military mom, your marriage and family life may be strongly influenced by your husband’s career choice, but that doesn’t mean you need to feel cheated.  In fact, many women are grateful for the sense of community that comes from being a military wife.

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deployed_militarysHave you been served with papers while deployed in a foreign country?  Are you wondering how your rights will be protected in a military divorce while serving your country overseas?  According to many divorce lawyers in Colorado Springs, these are among the most common fears that military service members have about getting a divorce.

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military_divorce_retirementAre you going through a military divorce in Colorado? With the strong military presence throughout the state, it is not uncommon to find law offices that devote most of their time to military divorce.  Most people aren’t aware of the complexities of a military divorce until they start dealing with the reality of it.  According to Colorado military divorce lawyers, many of the most frequently asked questions for military divorce lawyers pertain to the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).  In other words, how does one live separately from his or her spouse during the divorce without access to the military’s basic housing allowance?  If your husband or wife is in the military, is he or she still required to provide the family with monetary support?  The military guidelines say yes – even without a court-ordered support document.

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attorneyA lot has been written about the legal issues surrounding military divorce, but few articles focus on preventing it.  With divorce so prevalent in the armed forces today, many couples give up too soon and go directly to a military divorce attorney.

Looking at the alarming rise in military divorce rates, it is obvious that soldiers are under extreme stress.  Multiple tours of duty, extended time away from family, traumatic experiences and a change in world views can all contribute to the rise in military divorce rates. Not surprisingly, statistics show that military divorce rates increase during and after a war.  A comparison between military divorce rates in 2001 and 2004 illustrates this point.  In 2001 there were approximately 5,600 Army divorces and in 2004 that number jumped to 10,477.  The stress of war caused military divorce rates to double during this time period, affecting all branches of the military.

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Many articles have been written about the differences between military divorce lawyers and traditional divorce lawyers, and most of these have focused on one thing – military retired pay.  But a lot of the information pertaining to division of military benefits can be found by learning about the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA.)  The Act contains a special jurisdictional limitation on the power of a state court to divide retirement.

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blog-logoIf there’s one thing that military service members worry about, it’s the possibility of losing a sizable portion of their retired pay in a divorce settlement.  Retired pay in the military is different than a 401K or pension in the civilian world and it is treated differently in a divorce situation, but you may need the help of a Colorado Springs military divorce attorney to understand it.

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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