Special Issues to Consider During a Military Divorce


Many people interested in a Pasadena divorce make the mistake of thinking that the process of ending a marriage is the same regardless of personal circumstances. This is simply not true, especially if you are going though a military divorce.

Military families make great sacrifices to serve their country, and their relationships, sadly, are not always able to withstand the challenges of a career in the armed forces. The most important way that a military divorce is different from a nonmilitary divorce is how retirement benefits are treated. The courts define retired pay according to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). The act considers retirement benefits property and not income. Up to 50% of the military serviceman or servicewoman's retirement benefits can be awarded to the former spouse. The division of benefits is dependent upon the number of years the couple was married concurrent with military service. The computation of retired pay is based on the serviceman or servicewoman's rank at the time of retirement, not the rank at divorce. This means the division of retirement pay is especially significant in a divorce that occurs early on in a serviceman or servicewoman's career.

If the person serving in the military is not the one who initiated the divorce, he or she can use the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to slow court proceedings. This act protects those who by virtue of their military service might not be able to appear in court. Under the SCRA, they can postpone a legal action for the duration of military service plus 60 days.

How Can We Help?

If you are currently serving in the military or married to someone in the military and have questions about the process of filing for divorce, please contact our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our experienced Pasadena divorce attorneys are dedicated to helping clients resolve their issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.