Military Divorce in California

Orange County Divorce Lawyer Explains How it Differs from Civilian Divorce

Photo of a military couple facing divorce

Members of the military considering divorce need to follow state and federal laws that do not apply to civilians. Whether you or your spouse are in active employment or if you are both enlisted, you need to understand how a military divorce differs from a civilian divorce. Orange County Family Law Associates has years of experience guiding military members and their spouses through the divorce process. Our Orange County divorce lawyer offers a free consultation so you can get information with no cost and no obligation.

How is Military Divorce Difference from Civilian Divorce?

First, military members have special protections while they are on active service. In most cases where one spouse files for divorce while the other is deployed, the divorce will be stayed, or put on hold, until the deployed member returns, and possibly up to 60 days after the date of return.

Second, another difference is in how you divide property. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act has certain protections for members of the military entering into a divorce. The Act dictates how federal military funds will compensate the member’s spouse for child support, spousal support and other costs.

What You Need to Know About Military Divorce

  • You or your spouse must reside or be stationed in California. The grounds are no different from a civilian divorce.
  • You can divide a service member’s pension and retirement benefits between spouses in a divorce. Furthermore, for California military divorces, the member of military cannot pay more than 60 percent of his or her pay for child and spousal support.
  • Additionally, in California, the length of the marriage has no effect on division of retirement benefits in a military divorce.
  • Enlisted members must abide by the 10/10 rule. This means that if 10 years of marriage coincides with 10 years of service, the federal government will cover the service member’s former spouse’s share of benefits. If the overlap does not reach the 10-year mark, the service member has to pay it him or herself.

Attorneys for Military Divorce in California

Every divorce has a wide range of variables that come into play, and every client has a different story. To find the answers most relevant to your situation, come talk with our Orange County divorce lawyer. Our free consultation will give you your options going forward.