Military (Navy) divorces present attorneys and litigants with added complexities not found in typical divorce cases. International spouses, service of divorce-related documents upon out-of-state military persons, drafting of flexible parenting plans, mid-case deployments, military pay, and military retirement programs are all complicating factors some lawyers never face. Genesis possesses experience with each of these issues, as well as other intricacies unique to military divorce actions. And cost-saving technologies allow Genesis to represent military divorce clients for less per hour without sacrificing attorney work quality. A better firm for a better world.
My Military or Non-Military Spouse Lives Overseas. Can I Still Get A Divorce in Washington? You can get a divorce in Washington as long as 1) you are stationed here, 2) you live in Washington with the intent to remain here, or 3) Washington was the last place you lived with the intent to remain. Your spouse’s location does not normally affect your ability to file for divorce in Washington. That means you can get a divorce here even if your spouse lives in, for example, Korea or Germany.
Having an out-of-country spouse can, however, lead to numerous difficulties. Service of process (serving your spouse with divorce documents) often requires adherence to the Hague convention. Moreover, Washington might lack jurisdiction over financial aspects of the divorce, such as jurisdiction to award spousal maintenance or to distribute property. Washington might also lack jurisdiction over child-related issues if your child(ren) live overseas with your spouse. In situations where Washington lacks jurisdiction over parts of the divorce, this state’s courts nonetheless generally retain the ability to declare you divorced.
My Military Spouse Is Deployed. Can I Divorce Him or Her? Again the answer is yes, though the deployment creates additional complexity and often results in substantial delays.
How Are Military Retirement Funds Divided Upon Divorce? Military retirement funds typically come in two types: pensions and thrift savings plans. Both are relatively easy to divide, though the process is slightly different from the division of most non-military retirement plans. Most non-military retirement plans are divided via documents called qualified domestic relations retirement orders, or QDROs for short. Attorneys generally divide military pensions and thrift savings plans using documents similar to QDROs, only the names of the documents are different and there are a few additional rules.
What Will My Parenting Plan Look Like if My Ex Lives in Another State or Country? Military divorces often result in ex-spouses living in different states or countries from their children, and the distance between them precludes typical weekend visitations for the non-custodial parent. Long-distance parenting plans are usually the best way to address this quandary. Long distance parenting plans allocate longer but less frequent residential time with the non-custodial parent, such as replacing weekend visits with weeks or months of residential time during summer and winter vacations. Increasingly, long distance parenting plans also establish regular Skype video-call sessions during the periods between visits, and/or the non-custodial parent receives the option to visit the child in the city of the child’s primary residence.
Have more questions about your military divorce? Contact Genesis to speak with a military (Navy) divorce lawyer in Everett, WA (Snohomish County).