Divorce is always a challenge, but it can be much more complex when one spouse is an active or former service member in the military. Depending on the length of service, the length of the marriage, and to what extent these two time periods overlapped, the civilian spouse will be entitled to a portion of the service member’s retirement. A great military divorce lawyer in Oklahoma City can help you work out how to move forward and make sure you protect most or all of your miltary retirement.
By divorcing a service member, the civilian spouse is putting themselves at risk of losing many of the benefits they may depend on. If you’re worried about this issue, there are ways to fight for your rights and avoid financial hardship. Your military divorce attorney will help you navigate the complex military divorce regulations, protect your assets, find a suitable solution for your children, and communicate effectively with the judge and the other party.
7 Ways an Oklahoma City Military Divorce Lawyer Can Help You
1. They Can Help You Understand the Rules of Military Divorce
The laws surrounding divorce are complex and varied, but the situation is even more intricate when one of the spouses is in the military. In the case of a military divorce the parties are bound by the federal regulations that govern division of military retirement and other benefits. For example, the benefits the civilian spouse is entitled to depend on how long they have been married to their spouse, how long the service member has been active in the military, and by how many years these overlapped.
The civilian spouse will only get their full benefits if they were married for 20 years while the service member was active for 20 overlapping years of military service. Aside from dividing up the assets and determining what each spouse is entitled to, there might be child custody questions to settle. By hiring a great military divorce lawyer, you can be sure that all laws are taken into consideration and that you’re not missing out.
2. They Protect Your Military Retirement
Dividing up the assets is often one of the hardest parts of a divorce. If you were both living in military accommodation, the civilian spouse may no longer be entitled to stay on post. What’s more, they will most likely lose their right to healthcare under the service member’s plan, unless they were married for 20 years during military service. This can complicate an already intricate situation and require you to find more innovative solutions.
Your attorney will help you consider all assets and liabilities and figure out which are the most important to you. Because your divorce will become more expensive the higher the number of contested items, they may advise you to concentrate on the ones that you are most value to you. That way, you will receive what you really need without incurring high fees. Additionally, a military divorce attorney can assist you in crafting a plan to save potentially all of your military retirement by providing your spouse something of similar value in exchange for an interest in your military retirement.
3. They Help You Navigate the Divorce Process
Throughout your divorce, difficult situations are likely to arise. If the service member is still in the military, they may be stationed somewhere else or have to attend to their work duties while the divorce is ongoing. What’s more, the civilian spouse is at risk of losing their home, so they will need support finding a new house or apartment before the divorce is final.
By working with a competent military divorce lawyer, local to Oklahoma City, you can more easily navigate this stressful process. They will continuously alert you to important upcoming events, so you can be fully prepared for what’s coming. As a result, you won’t risk missing important deadlines or making costly mistakes. Additionally, experienced military divorce attorney will be able to put appropriate pressure on the party directly or through thier command structure, if the service member spouse is violating thier obligations.
4. They Communicate Effectively
Every lawyer must have excellent communication skills to succeed in their field. Not only do they have to negotiate with the opposing side and lay out your case in a positive light, but they also have to keep you informed every step of the way. An experienced attorney will always make sure you receive a prompt answer when you have any questions, and they will speak to you in a respectful and compassionate manner.
Fortunately, it’s easy to find out whether a given lawyer is great at communicating, by paying attention to how your initial interactions with his or her firm are handled. Does the firm get back to you immediately, and are all employees courteous on the phone? If so, you can attend a consultation to learn more and figure out how effective the attorney is in person. A lawyer who is able to explain complex concepts to you in a simple way is likely a great communicator. Additionally, you can learn much about a commander or the owner of a firm by how the attorneys and employees in the organization treat you.
5. They Help You Remain Calm and Collected
Military divorce is extremely stressful, particularly if you are the spouse who is at risk of losing everything or if children are involved. You will need all the help you can get to keep calm and collected throughout the process. By hiring a great divorce lawyer, you will significantly reduce the stress you feel because you know that you’re in good hands.
The attorney can prepare you before every negotiation or hearing, so you know what to say and how to act. That way, you will always be ready, and you never have to worry that you will make a mistake. When you have questions or get anxious, they can speak to you about your situation and explain the most likely outcome and the factors that affect it. We highly encourage you to visit our website for a wide variety of articles to answer many of your questions not addressed in this article. These resources are free to you and the entire community; whether you decide to work with us or not!
6. They Can Work Out a Custody Agreement
Divorces that include children are as complex, if not more than those involving military divorce issues. The judge will always attempt to act in the best interest of the children, so you will need to prove that you are a responsible parent who is able to properly take care of them. To do this, you should hire someone experienced with military custody agreements. Such a lawyer understands that the service member’s spouse may be stationed in a different state or even country and that this complicates the situation.
We have drafted a wide variety of complex visitation and custody agreements to adapt to the ever changing circumstance for service members and thier children. We cannot address every eventuality in your life; however, we can assist in protecting you from many of the common custody and visitation issues that arise with change of duty locations and deployment.s
Despite their job, the military employee has a right to see their children, and a suitable agreement will have to be worked out. In every case, your attorney will attempt to find the optimal solution for the children. This often means shared custody, which allows them to grow up while maintaining a relationship with both parents.
7. They Understand the Newest Developments
Federal and military-related laws and regulations change on a regular basis, and the new developments can affect the outcome of your case. Experienced military divorce attorneys have a wide network of industry contacts, so they are kept in the loop at all times, as well as stay versed in regulation changes and amendments to existing rules.
Through professional associations and ongoing educational opportunities, they keep their knowledge up to date, so they are the first to find out about any changes. When you work with such a professional, you don’t have to worry about any changes in the laws, and you can trust that they will use the most current information while working on your case.
Get the Help You Need in your Military Divorce
When divorcing a member of the military, the best thing you can do is get in touch with an experienced military divorce lawyer local to Oklahoma City. An attorney who regularly works with such cases has the necessary knowledge to get you a fair settlement. What’s more, they can protect your children’s rights and make sure they will be well taken care of, both financially and emotionally.
To find out whether a certain lawyer is a good fit and has the knowledge you need, you should meet with them before making a decision. Get in touch with us now at Cannon & Associates to book your initial consultation with one of our specialists. We will be delighted to welcome you to the firm and answer any questions you have about various aspects of your military divorce.