Military Family Law
Family Law is an area of civil, state law that applies equally to military and civilian families. We discuss the concept of Military Family Law because of the unique circumstances that affect military families involved in family law matters and certain federal laws that modify specific civil rules and legal procedures to fairly accommodate military service members in family law and other civil legal matters.
Our Commitment to Military Service Members and Military Families
The influence of the United States Armed Forces here at Compass Legal Services, P.S. is significant. Our firm is proud to include Associate Attorney Eric McDonald, a Retired Lieutenant of the United States Navy and former JAG Corps attorney. Additionally, our founder and Managing Attorney Heather Forrler is the daughter of another retired naval officer. Our staff includes children and spouses of Guardsmen and retired Sailors. Each of us understands on a very personal level what it means to be a part of a military family and the many challenges and amazing opportunities that come with the territory.
Military Family Law in Kitsap County, Washington
Kitsap County is home to a thriving military community. Our communities are host to three military installations: Naval Bass Kitsap Bremerton, Naval Base Kitsap Bangor and Naval Base Kitsap Keyport, and are home to between 13,000 and 18,000 active duty service members plus their families. Additionally, more than a thousand Military Reservists call Kitsap County their home.
According to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, fifty-six percent of active duty service members and only slightly less than half of Military Reservists are married. Their families include more than a million dependents, including roughly 334,000 children ages 5 or younger.
Family Law covers a wide range of issues that relate to family security and the safety and well being of children. Such matters include Parentage, Parenting Plans, Child Support, Third Party Custody. Military Service Members and their Families represent a broad cross-section of our nation and their need for assistance with Family Law matters arises with equal frequency as civilian families. Some disparity between military and civilian families is encountered; however, when examining the unique circumstances and obstacles faced by military personnel and their families based on the realities of military service.
Aspects of Military Family Law
Any family law matter that a civilian might face may apply to military service members and their families. Some of these matters include:
- Parenting Plans
- Child Support
- Third Party Custody
- Property Agreements (including Prenuptial Agreements)
Considerations when hiring a Family Law Lawyer
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.
Types of Military Family Law Cases
Military family law matters are the same as those faced by civilians. Due to status of a service, some rules may be different in keeping with state and federal laws.
When to call a Military Family Law Lawyer
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.
Local, State & Military Family Law Resources
Unique Challenges for Military Families
Military service is a way of life and a great deal is asked of military service members and their families. The impact of the military way of life can place great strain on the family unit and sometimes separate children from their parents. In circumstances where military service members are also single parents, maintaining the relationship between them and their children can be especially difficult.
Some of the obstacles in military family law:
- Multiple and Frequent Relocation
- The Military Command
- Family or Service Member Absenteeism
Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
To prevent undue hardship being placed upon military service members involved in civil legal matters, the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, makes specific provisions that modify certain rules and procedures in civil law when a party to a case is an active duty military service member. Such relief, as granted by the SCRA and relevant to Family Law includes, but is not limited to, procedures for limited postponement of civil court matters and protection from default judgements.
These protections are designed to prevent judgement against a service member that could otherwise occur when service members are deployed or otherwise unable to appear or respond promptly in accordance with civil court rules due to the demands of military service.
The Military Family Law Blogs
Compass Legal Services, P.S. goes in depth on topics related to Military Family Law
For more information about specific topics in Military Family Law check out the articles below or visit our full blog.