When you are an active member of the military and are facing a divorce, it can be difficult to know how to navigate the process. Here are some mistakes to avoid making when you're in the military and getting a divorce.
Responding to a Divorce Petition Without Legal Assistance
If your soon-to-be ex-spouse petitions for divorce, they may file in the state they are living in, even if you are on active duty somewhere else. You must respond to their petition in a timely manner, but it is unwise to do so without adequate legal assistance. Every state has different divorce laws, so you need to make every effort to guarantee that your divorce proceedings take place in a state that will be most fair to you. A good lawyer can help you determine which state is the best choice among the options available.
It is critical that you seek out an expert in military family law for your divorce. You may have relatives and friends who suggest divorce lawyers they've used, but a military family law expert can ensure that you address every military issue in the dissolution of your marriage so that your settlement is fair.
Not Holding On To the Survivor Benefit Plan
Your ex may want your Survivor Benefit Plan, or SBP, as part of your divorce settlement. This plan allows them to be paid benefits after you pass away. However, if you ever remarry and your first spouse has already been awarded your SBP, your new spouse is not entitled to any of those funds. Therefore, it may be a good idea to attempt to negotiate a settlement that doesn't allow your ex to have your SBP. Your ex may, for example, be eligible for life insurance or other benefits instead.
Not Considering Time Requirements
When in the military, there are time requirements that must be met before your pension can be divided and medical coverage can be extended to your ex-spouse. Keeping an eye on those time requirements may affect when you choose to file for divorce, because you may want to be able to have some things to negotiate with as you work out a divorce settlement.
Now that you have an idea of some of the things you should avoid, start working with your lawyer, such as the Law Offices of Peter Napolitano & Wayne Hibbeler, to find out what choices are available to you as you go through your military divorce. You will soon be able to move on with your life.Share