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Military Divorce Lawyers

Military divorce can be complicated, and it requires the expertise of professional lawyers to navigate through the complexities and protect your interests. If you are a military member or a spouse going through a divorce, you need a law firm that understands the unique aspects of military divorce cases and the peculiarities of military life. In Clark County, NV, Smith Legal Group is an experienced law firm ready to help you navigate through military divorce and retirement benefits issues. This blog post is for customers of Smith Legal Group who want to know some essential things about military divorce in Clark County, NV.

A man in the military removing his wedding ring before seeing a military divorce lawyer in Las Vegas, NV

Engage Attorneys Familiar with Nellis Air Force Base in Clark County, NV

If you are a military member in Clark County, there is a significant probability that you are serving at Nellis Air Force Base, an installation located in the northeast side of the Las Vegas Valley. If you are going through a divorce, the law firm you choose should have an in-depth knowledge of the base and the military lifestyle. Smith Legal Group has served clients residing in the Nellis Air Force Base community and beyond, and they have the expertise to help you. We are knowledgeable in matters of child custody, spousal support, property division, and military benefits, and we will work tirelessly to protect your interests.

Military Retirement Benefits as Marital Property – What to Know

Military retirement benefits are a significant asset in divorce cases, and they are subject to division by the court. A military member’s retired pay, pension, or disability benefits can be divided between spouses as marital property in the divorce settlement, depending on the state laws. In Clark County, NV, military retirement benefits are considered marital property only if they were earned during the marriage, regardless of whether the military member was on active duty or reserve status. This means that if you are a military member divorcing in Clark County, NV, your spouse may be entitled to a share of your retirement benefits, even if you were not on active duty for the entire marriage.

Protections for Federal Disability Benefits

Military members who retire with a service-connected disability are entitled to disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits are non-taxable and generally not divisible in the event of a divorce. However, as with most federal benefits, certain rules must be followed. The USFSPA allows state courts to classify disposable military retired pay as property subject to division in divorce cases. But it also limits the amount of disposable retired pay that can be awarded to a former spouse to no more than 50% of the service member’s disposable retired pay.

If a retired service member receives VA disability benefits, those benefits cannot be directly divided as property in a divorce. However, these benefits may be considered when calculating the amount of disposable retired pay available for distribution to a former spouse. The service member may also elect to waive a portion of their disposable retired pay in exchange for an offset in the amount of their VA disability compensation. This offset would reduce the disposable retired pay subject to distribution to the former spouse and protect the service member’s disability benefits.

Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA)

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) governs the division of military retirement benefits in divorce cases. The law mandates that the state court have jurisdiction over the military member for the court to be able to divide the benefits. The court will issue an order specifying the amount and duration of the payments to the former spouse if the military member’s benefits are to be divided.

In addition to the special protections for federal disability benefits, military spouses may also be entitled to a portion of the service member’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which is similar to a 401(k) plan. The USFSPA permits a court to award a portion of the service member’s TSP as part of the property division in a divorce. The amount awarded to the spouse can be up to 50% of the service member’s contribution during the marriage.

It is essential to note that USFSPA does not guarantee a spouse any portion of the military member’s retirement benefits automatically. Also, the law does not require the court to divide the benefits necessarily. The court will consider multiple factors, such as the length of the marriage, the civilian spouse’s earnings or potential earnings, and their contribution to the success of the military member’s career, before deciding on the amount of the benefits to be divided.

Deployment Can Play a Role in Custody Issues

One of the important factors to consider in Nevada military divorce is deployment. Deployments can impact child custody arrangements, and servicemembers who are deployed may struggle to maintain their current custody arrangement. In these cases, custody can be modified when a parent is deployed overseas, but it’s important to work with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure both parents’ rights are protected, and the best interests of the child are considered.

Marital Share Plays a Part in Nevada Military Divorce Cases

Another important consideration in Nevada military divorce is marital share. Nevada is a community property state, which means that any assets or debts acquired during the marriage belong to both spouses equally. This includes military retirement benefits, which can be significant. Understanding how military retirement benefits will be divided can be complex, so it’s important to work with an attorney who is well-versed in military divorce cases.

How Divorce Affects Base Housing

One of the rules that can be crucial to be aware of pertains to base housing. In particular, when a married couple living on base separates, generally:

  • The spouse who is a member of the military can be ordered to move to the barracks while the other spouse remains in the marital home.
  • The military member will NOT have the authority to kick out his non-military spouse.
  • Non-military members living in base housing without a member of the military will be required to vacate this housing and move off base at their own expense within a given time frame (usually 30 or so days).

Understanding these rules can help you make important decisions about housing during and after the divorce.

How Long Does a Military Divorce Take?

Going through a divorce is never easy, and when one or both parties are in the military, it can complicate things even more. So, the million-dollar question is: how long does a military divorce take? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as every situation is unique. Factors that can impact the length of a military divorce includes the complexity of the case, the jurisdiction in which the case is filed, and the extent to which the divorcing couple can come to an agreement on various issues. Generally speaking, if the divorce is uncontested, it could take as little as a few months to finalize. However, if the divorce is contested and goes to trial, it can take much longer, sometimes a year or more. Nonetheless, with the right legal representation, a stressful and difficult situation can be made to be as efficient as possible.

What to Look for in a Military Divorce Attorney in Clark County, NV

Choosing the right attorney is critical in any divorce case, but especially so in military divorce cases. You need an attorney who understands the unique challenges of military divorce, including the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, and other laws and regulations that apply. Look for an attorney who has experience in military divorce cases, who understands the nuances of military retirement and benefits, and who can help protect your rights and interests throughout the process.

Contact Smith Legal Group in Henderson, NV to Get Started with Your Military Divorce

In summary, military divorces should not be taken lightly; however, you don’t have to go through it alone. With the right attorney in your corner and a good understanding of the laws, the process can go more smoothly than anticipated. From determining an appropriate division of assets to engaging in negotiations for child custody or alimony, a qualified military divorce lawyer Las Vegas based can assist with all aspects and make sure nothing is left out. Here at Smith Legal Group, we understand the difficulty of working through this type of legal process and we’re here to provide comfort as well as give advice. We understand the timeframe it requires as it can change with each unique situation – no two divorces are ever the same. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help from us today if you need assistance on this matter! Contact Smith Legal Group in Henderson, NV at 702-410-5001 and get started on your new beginning!

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