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Military Divorce Lawyer Virginia Beach

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When you are facing the prospect of divorce, it’s important to find the right legal support and assistance along the way. Navigating these difficult waters is never an easy process, and when you are dealing with military enlistment, it only makes the process that much more complex.

Does the military handle divorces? They have their own laws and court system, after all. However, this system is designed to handle punishment, crimes, and other serious issues, not for probate and family law issues. All divorce cases will have to go through local or county courthouses in Virginia Beach, but first, they have to include a separation that lasts for up to a year before filing.

Read on to learn more about divorce in the military, including why you need a dedicated military divorce lawyer on your side.

Does the military provide divorce lawyers?

The military does offer to help people with various needs, but there are no specific provisions for divorce lawyers. Military legal offices are available that staff legal assistance attorneys to provide legal advice to service members, including on issues like divorce, separation, and child custody in the state of Virginia.

You will have to hire an outside attorney to represent you as your military divorce lawyer in Virginia Beach if you are going to proceed with the case and want the best chances of getting a fair outcome.

How do you get a divorce when you can’t afford a lawyer?

You do not necessarily need a lawyer to represent you in a divorce hearing. In fact, in the event of an amicable split, no lawyers may be required at all. However, these professionals are there for your benefit, and they are going to help ensure that you get the outcome that you deserve.

Ultimately, it’s best to always hire a lawyer for your divorce hearing. If you can find and file the paperwork amicably through the court system with your spouse, you may be able to avoid a lot of the excessive legal costs, but it’s still always a good idea to consult with a lawyer regarding military divorce or any other divorce or custody issue. Even when you think everyone is on the same page, it never hurts to have a little backup on your side.

How long does a military divorce take in Virginia?

The divorce process is no longer or shorter based on military status. It can be quick if the parties are in agreement and don’t have any legal battles to pursue. It could take years, in some cases, if parties cannot come to an agreement and if there are legal complications along the way.

The first thing that should be done is to retain a qualified divorce lawyer who can help you file for divorce and get started on the process. There will be several different types of paperwork requested as part of the filing, and the other spouse will need to be served with the divorce notification before it can be filed. Then, the legal process will continue just as it would for any other divorcing couple.

Of course, there are special circumstances in some cases, such as when an upcoming deployment could interfere with legal proceedings related to the divorce case. This may cause the courts to speed up the hearing or push back its date to ensure that everyone can be present at the time when the divorce is granted.

How is custody affected by a military divorce?

If you are divorcing a spouse who is enlisted, their ability to retain custody may be impacted by their commitment to the service. While they cannot necessarily be “punished” and have custody taken away while they are on active duty or in some kind of deployment, they also cannot be designated to provide custody and care for the child during that time, either.

The judge will consider all of these elements in determining the custody of the case. The spouse who is not in the service will not be able to use the other spouse’s service against them in helping to build their own custody case, so that is nothing to be concerned with. There are certain protections and provisions in place for this special type of situation, and as always, the courts do everything with the best interests of the child or children in mind.

What else should I know?

The topic of military benefits and how they are delegated after a divorce is a popular one, but it’s one that is often misunderstood. In fact, the military doesn’t offer much in the way of provisions to a divorced spouse if they weren’t married long or don’t have a long history of involvement together. Those who have been together for 20 years or more will be able to consider the 20/20/20 rule:

  • At least 20 years of marriage at the time of divorce
  • At least 20 years of service that can be credited toward the retired pay determination
  • At least 20 years of marriage during the time of active creditable service

If military service members are located overseas, they may be subject to different regulations and laws. Some will choose to wait until they return home and complete the process with a divorce lawyer in Virginia Beach. Others will do what they must while they are in another country. That requires taking the time to talk to a local attorney or the military’s legal assistance office so that you know what to expect in terms of the divorce process, division of assets, and more.

Of course, family members and their property can be returned home on the government’s dime, so long as it’s done before the tour of duty is over. After that, they will be on their own if the divorce is granted and they haven’t yet returned home from overseas.

What’s the best thing to do now?

If you’re in a marriage that has reached its end and you’re enlisted in the military, make sure that you consult the legal assistance there to see if they have any inside advice or insight. Then, contact a reputable military divorce attorney that is experienced in handling these types of cases. That way, you will get the best chance of a fair outcome.

Deering Hedrick is here to help. We have years of experience in family law and divorce in Virginia, including military divorce cases. He can help with all kinds of divorces, separations, and other legal issues, including no-fault and fault-based claims and more. Contact us today and schedule your consultation so that you can get through the legal process with ease and get back to focusing on your service.

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Since 2011

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