Serving in the armed forces is one of the most respected professions and one of the greatest sacrifices a citizen can make to their country. Many people put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of the United States; they move from place to place more often than anyone fathoms, bringing their spouses and children along to see new parts of the country and sometimes military bases in other parts of the world.
Military personnel spouses often find themselves under greater stress having to move their family around to support the career of their husband, or wife and operate as if they’re a single parent for long periods of time while their spouse is on active duty. Unsurprisingly, military couples face divorce just like any ordinary citizen couple does; sometimes, the burden is just too much. Military divorces are a bit more complicated than those of the ordinary variety and require a Colorado Springs family law attorney to assist in the 3 major points of contention during proceedings.
If the couple has children, custody is one of the larger battles to be fought and negotiated. First and foremost, is the military personnel half of the marriage on active duty? Will they continue to move from place to place, base to base, or are they stationed for the foreseeable future? A judge will look at these facts to determine the best course of the action in the best interest of the child(ben). These factors determine who gets custody and whether there is joint custody or visitation rights.
The next two can be intertwined, but first let’s look at pensions. In Colorado, the value of a military pension is determined when the personnel retires, not at the time of filing for divorce; pensions are also considered community property and, therefore, can be divided at the time of divorce. A spouse can be awarded up to 50% of the pension but can request a larger share – at that point, it is up to the judge to determine the amount. Couples are also able to negotiate the terms of pension division on their own; it is best to hire a Colorado Springs family law attorney to mediate the negotiations.
Next is child support and alimony. Again, these can be negotiated by both parties, or decided by a judge later. With consideration of the service personnel’s pension, the numbers may go up or down depending on the amount granted. Again, it is best to hire a family law attorney to aid in coming to equitable and agreeable terms.
A military divorce requires the expertise of a Colorado Springs family law attorney to navigate the intricacies and nuances of negotiating the split. If you believe that your marriage cannot go on, but want to ensure your children’s well being and your financial stability/safety, call us today to learn about the next steps.