Special Rights Of Service Members in family law courts

Few events strain marriage like the events and relocation of wartime. Even major news organizations cover the marital stress faced by current members of the armed forces, and their spouses.

Fortunately, if you face family law issues as a military service person, you enjoy a number of special legal rights and safeguards. For instance:

  • Service persons are protected by the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act which allows for the temporary suspension of legal proceedings and transactions in order to ensure that service persons' civil rights are not prejudiced during their terms of service
  • Military retirement pay that has been waived in order to receive veterans' disability payments is exempt from distribution as marital property
  • Service members can exclude a portion of their retirement benefits from the marital estate by converting it to disability payments

Rights Of Military Spouses

But there are always two people in a marriage, and the rights of each must be protected. State and federal law also protects the spouses of service members, including their right to receive military-related property in a divorce.

  • A military spouse can receive disposable retired pay, provided that the parties were married for at least ten years.
  • The Survivor Benefit Plan permits a military retirees to provide an annuity to a former spouse.
  • Service members cannot defeat an order to pay by converting pay to disability payments once the order is given.

Divorce law, already complex, is further complicated by military involvement. For experienced legal assistance in pursuing your family law and divorce law legal rights as a service person or military spouse, contact our firm for a no-charge discussion.

Know Your Rights In A Military Divorce

If you have questions regarding military divorce, contact the attorneys of the Harrisburg law firm of Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC. We accept credit cards, are available for evening and weekend appointments and operate two offices for your convenience. To contact a lawyer, call 717-827-4074.