If you’re in the military and getting a divorce, you may start to see the words “military divorce” associated with family law firms. Just to be clear, a “military divorce” is not a specific proceeding; it is just the same as any other “Dissolution of Marriage” action in the state of Colorado. It does not take place in a military courtroom, but in front of the same domestic relations judges that preside over civilian divorces. The only reason “military divorce” is such a big part of an attorney’s practice in Colorado Springs is that the Armed Forces have such a large presence in the region.Just like there is no special qualification that constitutes a military divorce attorney, finding a specialist to represent you can be just as nebulous. Just because an attorney in Colorado Springs claims to understand the legal issues surrounding a military divorce does not mean that he or she will be any more qualified to help you. Sometimes the best place to start is to find out which attorneys appear “organically” in the Google search listings when you type in “military divorce attorney Colorado Springs.” You can usually gather from a law firm’s website how much experience they have with this type of proceeding. Does the site have a Colorado legal blog with articles about military divorce? Are they aware of the federal statutes that govern the division of military retired pay?
As a military divorce attorney in Colorado Springs, I always explain to my clients the major issues involved in a military divorce and give them a snapshot of my military divorce expertise and experience. I explain to them how the SRCA works, and the USFSPA governs the division of military retired pay. There are certain rules that apply to the division of retired pay, but a lot depends on the length of the marriage and the amount of military service time that occurred during the marriage.
Military benefits use a different set of rules than retirement pay, which can be quite confusing for some couples. Medical benefits are only in full effect for a former spouse when there has been 20 years of military service during the marriage.
As you can see, there are many particulars about military divorce that you will need to learn from your attorney. The approach you choose will greatly depend on your attorney’s experience in these areas, so don’t just hire any attorney in Colorado Springs. Be sure that the attorney you choose is fully cognizant of any recent developments in military divorce laws.
Patricia Marrison is a Family Law attorney in Colorado Springs, CO. and the owner of the Marrison Family Law LLC, Colorado Springs largest Family Law practice. The Marrison Family Law LLC is devoted to assisting with the difficulties of the breakup of relationships, be it common law marriage, a non-marriage with children, or dissolution with or without children. We attempt to serve the entire spectrum of relationships, from those couples with the simplest, uncontested dissolution to the highly conflicted relationship involving allegations of domestic abuse.