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Military Divorce2019-08-19T19:09:05+00:00

Do you need legal advice about Military Divorce matters
from a Kitsap County Divorce Attorney?

Request a Consultation with an Attorney
Call our office now! 360.471.3300

Image of soldiers on a ship in silhouette depicting military divorceMilitary Divorce and Active Duty Military Service Members

According to The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense more than 56% of active duty military service members are married.  Regardless of the demographic, divorce is a significant fact where marriage is a consideration.  In 2018, Military.com published statistics stating that the overall divorce rate among military service members fell in the range of 3 to 3.1 percent.  Overall, that equaled about 21, 290 service members who divorced in 2017.

In Kitsap County our military community ranges from 13,000 to 18,000 active duty service members, plus more than a thousand reservists, an estimated 7,000-10,000 of whom are married.  Each year, hundreds of our local military service members are involved in divorce matters.

Experienced Military Divorce Lawyers including a Retired JAG Attorney

At Compass Legal Services, our staff has significant ties to the military community.  We are children and spouses of current or retired military service members.  Additionally, Associate Attorney Eric McDonald is a Retired Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) of the United States Navy and Former JAG Corps attorney.  We understand on a very personal level both the opportunities and hardships military service members and their families face.  As such, we place special emphasis on providing legal support to military service members and families involved in military divorce matters.

Common Concerns in Military Divorce Matters

One of the hallmarks of military life is the frequent, compulsory need to move from one military installation to another, sometimes worlds apart from the last duty station and often with family in tow, and other times not.  When considering a divorce, military service members or their spouses may find the issue of legal jurisdiction over the case perplexing.

We frequently represent military service members with legal matters in Kitsap County even though they or their families no longer live locally, but they are involved in a legal matter that is under the jurisdiction of the Superior Court of Kitsap County.  We have also consulted with service members who were unable to file for divorce locally due to lack of jurisdiction over spouses who live elsewhere.  We always help our clients to examine the facts and logistics of the circumstances to ensure they are able to make informed, viable decisions regarding divorce matters.

When minor or dependent children are present in a marriage and one or both spouses is military, the question of co-parenting during and after the divorce must be decided.  Child Support and Parenting Plans must be in place before a divorce can be finalized. Additionally, Kitsap County requires each parent to complete a mandatory parenting class before divorce matters involving minor children can be finalized.

With military families, frequent relocations, deployments and the rigors of military life can make co-parenting a challenge.  Relocation, residency and time frames can also dictate whether the local court can even make decisions of divorce, child support or parenting plans due to issues of jurisdiction.  Again, our office will help you to examine your unique circumstances and provide you with the information you need to understand the options available to you as a parent.

Divorce happens.  For civilians, their boss is almost never going to get involved in the matter.  The Military Command is a different sort of boss.  The Military Command may become involved in circumstances surrounding a service member who is going through a divorce if the Command is contacted due to allegations of inappropriate or unlawful conduct on the part of the service member.  Misuse of federal allowances for a service members family, neglect of financial responsibilities and violent or other unlawful behavior are frequent issues that may prompt the Military Command to interject in divorce matters.  It is important to remember that the UCMJ remains in effect for service members while they are dealing with civil legal matters such as divorce.

Divorce happens.  For civilians, their boss is almost never going to get involved in the matter.  The Military Command is a different sort of boss.  The Military Command may become involved in circumstances surrounding a service member who is going through a divorce if the Command is contacted due to allegations of inappropriate or unlawful conduct on the part of the service member.  Misuse of federal allowances for a service members family, neglect of financial responsibilities and violent or other unlawful behavior are frequent issues that may prompt the Military Command to interject in divorce matters.  It is important to remember that the UCMJ remains in effect for service members while they are dealing with civil legal matters such as divorce.

Divorce and Retired Military Service Members and Spouses

Retired military service members receiving federal benefits including medical insurance and base access share those benefits with legally married spouses and dependent children.  When retired service members divorce, many factors are considered as to how retirement benefits including military pensions may be required to be split with their spouse.  The courts and the federal government consider the length of the service members military service and the length of time the service member was married to the spouse during their military service when considering the split of assets and assignment of benefits following a divorce.

Contacting Compass Legal Services, P.S.

If you are ready to discuss your legal matter with one of our Kitsap County Family Law Attorneys we invite you to call our office at 360.471.3300 to schedule a legal consultation.  We strongly encourage anyone involved in or considering action regarding a Family Law matter to be proactive and reach out for help and guidance, if needed, as early as possible.

When to call a Divorce Attorney

Waiting to reach out for help is always a bad idea, especially if you have been served with court documents that carry a deadline for a response or if a hearing is already scheduled. If you think you need legal advice or don’t feel comfortable managing your case or going to court on your own, don’t wait until a week or a couple of days before a hearing or a deadline to reach out as most firms do not have walk-in availability. Our attorneys can provide you with specific guidance and support to help you address your legal matter with confidence.
To schedule a legal consultation, call our office at 360.471.3300.

State, Local and Military Legal Resources

Additional Aspects of Family Law

Divorce and Legal Separation

Divorce and Legal Separation are complex legal matters included in Family Law practice.  We address these matters in detail on our Divorce and Legal Separation page.

Military Family Law

At Compass Legal Services, P.S. we have tremendous respect for the service military personnel provide our country.  Our staff includes a retired Naval Officer and former JAG Corps attorney and is our great honor to provide military family law services for our local military community and service members stationed outside of Kitsap County with family law matters under the jurisdiction of the Kitsap County Superior Court.  For more information about Military Family Law at Compass Legal Services, P.S. please visit our Military Family Law page.

Military Divorce & Family Law Blogs

For more information about specific topics related to Military Divorce check out the articles below or visit our full blog.