Military Divorce Lawyer Tacoma WA

Military person in the desertDivorce is very challenging and they’re going to be emotional issues and legal matters that must be dealt with or seeking to get a divorce, but if you are a servicemember stress, the timing of the cost of divorce goes down significantly. When you are looking to get a divorce as a member of the United States military you need to contact a military divorce lawyer Tacoma WA residents trust such as the ones available at the Robison & Hadeed Law Firm.

While state and local procedures govern divorce proceedings, it all comes down to where you file. Each day is going to have different federal statutes and military regulations that can apply to your divorce, however a military divorce lawyer in Tacoma WA is going to be able to ensure that you are following federal state and military law.

The legal assistance office on your military base can provide you with information on issues about divorce, child custody, income tax considerations, the civil relief act, and more. Eligible family members can also receive free legal advice, however to avoid conflict of interest a lawyer can only offer guidance to either the service member or the spouse depending upon what the person is seeking advice about.

Your military divorce lawyer in Tacoma WA is going to ensure that you understand the legal rights of yourself as a service member, such as the servicemembers civil relief act which helps to protect the rights of servicemembers when they are on active duty. When a servicemember is on active duty, and one spouse serves divorce papers, the SCRA allows for civil court or administrative proceedings to be extended if active duty is stopping the servicemember from responding in a time appropriate manner and it allows service members to be protected in certain situations from judgments such as a failing to appear at trial due to being on service.

Your military divorce lawyer in Tacoma WA is going to be able to help you protect your future, and they are going to be able to walk you through the divorce proceedings in a manner that will leave you protected, take care of your spouse as well and ensure that your assets are kept track of and appropriately used.

When you have Robison & Hadeed Law Firm at your side, you have somebody with experience in this field of law at your side. With over a decade of military divorce law under her belt, Attorney Hadeed understands what you are going through and she understands the nuances of the law she is dealing with. You are going to have challenges the regular civilian lawyers are not going to understand, but she does and she will make sure that you are first in her book. She is determined, and she is always going to fight for her client no matter what.

Tacoma Military Divorce FAQs

It’s important to connect with a military divorce lawyer Tacoma, WA servicemembers and their spouses trust as soon as you decide to divorce. The more proactive you are about your approach to the divorce process, the more time and resources Robinson & Hadeed will be empowered to dedicate on behalf of advancing your interests. In anticipation of your initial consultation, please feel free to review some of the most common FAQs we receive when potential clients first walk through our doors.

What Is the Best Approach to Divorce?

There is no “one-size fits all” approach to the divorce process that works best for everyone. Some divorcing couples achieve their desired outcome most efficiently by negotiating a draft settlement with each other and having their lawyers review and formalize it. Others benefit from entering mediation. Having their lawyers negotiate amongst themselves so that each spouse can remain more “hands off” also works well for some. When you meet with our team, we’ll help you make an informed decision about which approach is likely to be most effective for your unique needs and circumstances.

How Do I Keep My Divorce Process Low-Stress for My Kids?

If it is possible for you and your children’s other parent to remain as amicable and focused on your children’s interests as possible, that is an “ideal” scenario. However, if your children’s other parent is processing their experience in ways that don’t allow for this approach, you can do your utmost to help your children unilaterally. As long as you do your best to keep their best interests in mind and you remain truly invested in their wellbeing during this difficult time, you’ll be doing what they need you to do. We can provide more personalized guidance during your initial consultation.

Will My Military Service Keep Me from Being Awarded Joint Child Custody?

It’s particularly important to work with a Tacoma military divorce lawyer if you’re an active servicemember because you’re navigating unique challenges that not every family law firm is prepared to deal with. There are legal protections in place to help ensure that active servicemembers aren’t discriminated against in custody cases, but you need to work with an attorney who understands them in order to maximize your chances of success.

Should I Stay Off Social Media for Now?

If it is not going to pose an unreasonable mental and emotional hardship for you, staying off social media until your family law case is resolved is a good idea. There are simply too many ways to count for opposing counsel to try and use your activity against you. If you need to remain on social media, be exceptionally careful with how you approach every word typed, photo uploaded, and content liked or disliked.

What if My Ex and I Can’t Come to an Agreement?

If you and your spouse or partner can’t agree on the terms of your divorce or child custody agreement, the dedicated attorneys at Robinson & Hadeed can build the strongest possible case on your behalf. While it would be wonderful if every family law case was resolved amicably, our Tacoma military divorce lawyer team understands that isn’t realistic. We are here to help no matter what your unique circumstances look like.

What You Need to Know Before Meeting with a Military Divorce Lawyer

If you’re getting divorced and your spouse is in the military, it may seem like their situation gives them an advantage in the divorce proceedings — after all, if they’re out of state or stationed overseas, it will be difficult to make them comply with court orders, right? This isn’t necessarily true, but it can be difficult to argue against a lawyer who doesn’t even know the basics of how the military works! Before meeting with your military divorce lawyer, make sure you know these things so you can feel prepared going into your meeting.

Preparation Is Key

Preparing for your meeting with your lawyer is just as important as having them represent you in court. If you’re going into a divorce, child custody, or child support hearing unprepared, you could easily lose valuable time and money. If possible, speak to your lawyer about what you should do before each phase of the legal process. The more you can prepare yourself for these meetings beforehand, the better off you’ll be in both outcomes and legal costs.

State Your Needs

When you walk into your divorce lawyer’s office, be prepared. What do you need from him or her? Do you want them to file for divorce on your behalf, or are you looking for legal advice? Before your meeting, list three things that are most important to you and make sure those needs come across in person. For example, if finances are high on your priority list, tell your lawyer that it’s crucial they represent both parties at all financial meetings throughout the process and explain why.

Evaluate the Options

When considering how to prepare for your divorce, you should think about what you want from a property settlement. While children are always top priority, consider if custody will play an important role in your agreement. Decide if it’s better for both parents to share custody of your children, or if one parent should have primary care. If you decide that joint custody is best, look into co-parenting classes before coming up with any legal documents. An experienced attorney can help answer any questions you may have and provide sound advice on what’s best for your family situation.

Agree on a Course of Action

Although you can’t force your soon-to-be ex-spouse to sign anything, it’s important that you and your soon-to-be ex reach an agreement on all issues. How much alimony will be paid? What are each spouse’s rights concerning property division? Will there be joint custody or sole custody of any children? Be clear on these and other matters before heading into a divorce lawyer meeting. In most cases, the best way to do this is by using a form provided by the military legal assistance office or government sponsored services (or both). If you’re using an attorney, he or she should help guide you through the process. Don’t forget about child support! Child support is payable until the child reaches 18 years old or graduates from high school if they live with one parent and attend school in the state where they live.

Tacoma WA Military Divorce Infographic

What You Need to Know Before Meeting with a Military Divorce Lawyer

Tacoma Military Divorce Statistics

According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Defense, the divorce rate for active-duty members of the military was 3.7% in 2018, down from 3.9% in 2017. This is still higher than the national average of 2.9%. There are many factors that contribute to military divorce, including frequent deployments, long separations, and the stress of military life. However, there are also many resources available to help military couples stay together, such as counseling and support groups.

Issues to Consider

Many divorces have multiple issues that need to be considered, however, when that divorce involves one or both spouses that are members of the military, those issues can become even more complex and challenging to resolve. The following are some of the more common issues that a military divorce lawyer Tacoma, WA service members rely on can help you with.

Child Custody

The one constant that service members can count on is that their career will involve moving. Although the branch you are serving may offer you serval choices or allow you to request duty stations, there are no guarantees you will get one of these choices. The bottom line is home is wherever the military tells you to go and many military families have the experience of living in several different locations during a service member’s career.

However, these moves can definitely have an impact on child custody and visitation arrangements. Where a service member is stationed can also have a direct impact on how a judge decides on child custody.

A Tacoma military divorce lawyer will help ensure your parental rights are protected in any type of parenting time arrangement that is made. Some of the more common types of custody and visitation orders the court may issue can include monthly rotations, summer and holidays, or annual rotations.

Military Healthcare and Commissary Benefits

There are certain criteria the non-military spouse must meet in order for their spouse’s military healthcare benefits to continue beyond a transitional period. These are:

  • The couple has been married for at least 20 years, the service member spouse has served for at least 20 years, and these two factors overlap for at least 20 years. In this situation, the non-military spouse is referred to as a 20/20/20 spouse and would be eligible for their military healthcare benefits to continue, as well as being able to continue to use the commissary and exchange.
  • The couple has been married for at least 20 years, and the service member spouse has served for at least 20 years, but the overlap is only for 15 years. The non-military spouse would then be classified as a 20/20/15 spouse and they would be eligible for healthcare and commissary benefits for one year after the divorce.

Military Retirement Benefits

After they have served for 20 years, a service member is eligible for a military pension. But just as in a civilian divorce, that pension can be considered “martial assets” under the Uniform Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) and become part of the marital estate that the court will equitably distribute between the two spouses. There are factors that will determine what percentage (up to 50 percent) the non-military spouse will be entitled to.

This split is done under the “frozen benefit rule” that was established in 2017. Under the rule, the pension is “frozen” from the date of divorce. The court will then decide what portion will be awarded to the non-military spouse based on how long the service member was in service and what their rank was during the marriage.

There is no minimum amount of time the couple must have been married for a spouse to potentially be awarded a portion of the other spouse’s military pension. However, as a Tacoma military divorce lawyer can explain, the longer the marriage, the larger percentage of the pension the court may award to the non-military spouse.

Follow Up

The most common error made by people meeting with a military divorce lawyer is failing to follow up. Following up allows you and your attorney time to discuss your goals, review potential outcomes and come up with strategies. It’s also an important opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have about military divorce. Remember, having a good working relationship with your lawyer will help make things go smoothly when it comes time for negotiations or court appearances — so follow up!

Contact a military divorce lawyer today at Robinson & Hadeed today!