Divorce is never an easy thing to go through. Separating spouses have to deal with child custody, child support, property division, and major life changes. For military families, divorce can be even more complicated. A military couple may be living far away from other family or the military spouse may be facing deployment. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the difficult process of a military divorce to get the best results for you and your family.
One major difference for military divorces in North Carolina is the residency and service requirement. In North Carolina, either spouse must have resided in the state for a period of 6 months or more to file for divorce in North Carolina.
However, as a way to protect military spouses serving out-of-state or overseas, the military spouse must be personally served notice of the divorce filing. When either spouse is a resident or stationed in North Carolina for at least 6 months, the spouse on active military duty must be personally served or accept service for the divorce to proceed in North Carolina.
Another major difference in North Carolina divorces for military families involves military benefits distribution. Military benefits are calculated and distributed based on the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA). This generally provides for direct payment to the former spouse of a portion of the military member's retirement pay. For the USFSPA to apply, the couples generally have to be married for 10 years or more during one spouse's active military duty.
When it comes to calculating child support, military families undergo the same process as anyone else in North Carolina. Child support is determined based on a number of factors, including custody and family income. However, the amount of child support and spousal support is limited for military members and cannot exceed 60% of a military spouse's pay and allowances.
Other issues that come up in a divorce can be complicated by the military lifestyle. Military families often move around a lot, to different bases across the country or overseas. As a result, the divorcing couple could be splitting up in a state where they do not have any family or much of a social network.
Military families with children can also face more difficult child custody arrangements, especially when the military member continues to move to different stations across the country. This can make it difficult to develop a shared custody agreement and may require making regular changes to child custody plans. It can also make it difficult for a military parent who wants to be a regular part of their child's life to balance their job with parenting time.
Jerkins Family Law
If you are in the military and have any questions about divorce or child custody, please do not hesitate to call Jerkins Family Law for assistance. We are committed to providing the passionate representation you and your family need. We can help make sure your interests are protected after a divorce or separation. Visit our dedicated divorce page and contact us today so we can guide you to a better solution.