man in army fatigues removing wedding ringIn order to make sure that your rights and entitlements as a military member or family member are protected, you need a lawyer who understands what those special considerations are during family law disputes involving divorce, separation, child custody, parenting time, or child support concerns. You need Lu Aloupas.

Military Personnel and Their Families Have Special Considerations

Military family law cases in Virginia involve unique circumstances and legal considerations. For example: 

Jurisdiction. Military servicemembers and their spouses may find that family law cases involve jurisdictional complexities, as servicemembers may be stationed in different states or countries. In Virginia, it is not uncommon for both parties to have a military connection or be on active duty. 

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA provides certain protections to active-duty servicemembers, including the ability to postpone proceedings while on deployment or for a certain period after returning from deployment. This act can affect the timing of court processes.

Resumption of proceedings. The SCRA also allows servicemembers to request a postponement of proceedings after returning from deployment. This ensures they have sufficient time to transition back into civilian life before dealing with legal matters.

Service of process. Serving divorce papers to an active-duty servicemember can be complicated if they are stationed overseas or in a remote location. The SCRA provides provisions on how to properly serve military members while considering their active-duty status.

Division of military pensions. Military pensions earned during the marriage are considered marital property subject to division in a divorce. Virginia follows equitable distribution laws, meaning the court will distribute marital assets fairly but not necessarily equally. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) provides guidelines for the division of military pensions. 

VA disability payments. VA disability payments are not taxable for the former servicemember. However, they are considered income when calculating child support and spousal support. 

Survivor benefit plan. In some cases, the former spouse may be named the sole beneficiary of the servicemember's retirement pay. 

Child custody and parenting time. Military service can impact child custody and parenting time arrangements. Frequent deployments and relocations can make it more challenging to establish stable custody schedules. Courts consider the best interests of the child while taking into account the military obligations of the parent.

Residency requirements. Virginia has specific residency requirements for filing divorce petitions. However, special provisions might apply to military personnel and their spouses, allowing them to file for divorce in Virginia even if they do not meet the typical residency criteria.

Benefits and allowances. Military benefits and allowances are considered when calculating child support and alimony payments. These benefits may include housing allowances, combat pay, and other special compensations.

Child support modifications. Deployments and changes in income due to military service can lead to child support modifications. In Virginia, adjustments can be made if there are significant changes in financial circumstances.

Military family support. Virginia recognizes the unique challenges military families face, and the courts may have specialized support services or resources to assist military personnel and their families throughout the process.

Divorce, separation, child custody, child support, and parenting time cases involving servicemembers and their spouses or partners can be complex, and each case presents unique considerations. If you are involved in a military family law dispute in Virginia, we encourage you to seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in handling this type of case.

Lu Takes Pride in Representing Military Families

If you or your spouse has served in the United States Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, or Navy, or as a federal government employee, you have come to the right place. Lu Aloupas has lived through a divorce and spent several years as a single parent, so she understands the challenges you are facing and will work to help you find a path forward. 

You are never just a number at Aloupas Law. Contact us today to learn more about our legal services. We offer one-hour consultations in person as well as by phone or Zoom, during which we will hear your story, answer your questions, and give you options on how to proceed, given the facts of your case.