Military divorces in the state of Georgia can be complex and involve issues that are simply not present or applicable in a regular civilian divorce. There are various federal laws that apply only to active duty military members in the context of a divorce, and you will need the assistance of a qualified Georgia military divorce lawyer who is knowledgeable about these laws in order to properly handle your divorce.
One issue is service of process on the military spouse. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to personally serve a spouse with divorce papers while he or she is actively stationed in a foreign country, depending on the circumstances. This is a requirement for a Georgia court to be able to exercise jurisdiction over a military member. Plus, active duty military members enjoy the benefits of the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, which is a federal law that, in part, allows an active duty Servicemember to postpone a civil legal proceeding, such as a divorce, until he or she is available to participate in the proceedings. Typically, the Servicemember’s ability to postpone divorce proceedings, however, ends 30 to 60 days following the date of discharge from active duty.
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) is a federal law that applies to the division of a service member’s military pension upon divorce. More specifically, the USFSPA allows state divorce courts to consider a military pension as marital property and divide it between the parties accordingly. As a general rule, the couple must have been married for at least ten years or more during the spouse’s active duty military service in order to be entitled to a portion of his or her pension under the USFSPA. On the other hand, in order for a former military spouse to qualify for continued military health care, he or she must have been married to the servicemember for at least 20 years, during which the servicemember served at least 20 years of creditable service. However, former military spouses who do not meet this standard may be entitled to one year of transitional healthcare coverage, with the ability to purchase a health insurance plan thereafter, depending on the circumstances.
A Georgia divorce lawyer can make all the difference in giving you the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about your divorce. In this situation, an experienced divorce attorney who knows the ins and outs of military divorce law is best. Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.