Slidell Military Divorce Attorneys
Dedicated Slidell military divorce lawyers for military families in Louisiana
Louisiana, home to a significant military population, has specific laws and regulations that govern military divorces. Whether you're an active-duty service member or the civilian spouse of someone in the military, understanding the nuances of a military divorce is important to your case. As experienced Slidell military divorce attorneys familiar with the intricacies of these types of divorces, the Law Office of James A. Graham is committed to offering guidance and support tailored to your unique situation.
How can we help?
- Where do I file for divorce if my spouse is a member of the military?
- How is property divided in a Slidell military divorce?
- What is the 10-year rule for military spouses?
- How do child custody and child support work in a Slidell military divorce?
- How does spousal support work in a Slidell military divorce?
- Where are Louisiana’s military bases?
- Do you have a Slidell military divorce lawyer near me?
Where do I file for divorce if my spouse is a member of the military?
When filing for divorce in Louisiana involving a military spouse, determining the appropriate jurisdiction is important, and it is influenced by federal laws such as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The residency of both spouses plays a key role in this process.
If both you and your spouse are residents of Louisiana, the divorce can typically be filed in the parish where either of you resides. Louisiana allows military personnel to maintain residency in the state even if they are stationed elsewhere, as long as they have not established residency elsewhere.
If the military spouse is stationed in Louisiana, they have the option to file for divorce in the parish where they are stationed or the parish where their civilian spouse resides. This flexibility recognizes the mobility of military life.
On the other hand, if the military spouse is stationed outside Louisiana, they can generally file for divorce in the parish where they were last stationed in the state or in the parish where the civilian spouse resides. This accommodates the unique circumstances of military deployments.
It's important to note that military spouses can choose to waive their right to contest jurisdiction, allowing the divorce to proceed in the parish where the civilian spouse resides, even if the military member is stationed elsewhere.
For legal guidance specific to military divorces, it is advisable to consult with a Slidell family law attorney who has experience in handling such cases. The Law Offices of James A. Graham can help.
How is property divided in a Slidell military divorce?
Here in Louisiana, marital property is considered community property. This means that any marital assets and any increase in property obtained before the marriage are to be split equally.
While this principle is the foundation of property division, military divorces often introduce additional considerations, particularly concerning military pensions and benefits.
Military pensions are regarded as marital property and may be subject to division in a divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) grants states the authority to treat military pensions as divisible assets, allowing Louisiana courts to allocate a portion to the non-military spouse as part of the property division settlement.
Apart from military pensions, various other assets and liabilities obtained during the marriage, including real estate, bank accounts, and debts, are subject to division. The court aims for an equitable distribution, considering factors such as each spouse's financial situation and their contributions to the marriage.
While Louisiana follows community property principles, the division of property may not always be strictly 50/50 or equal. The court has the discretion to consider a range of factors to achieve an equitable distribution that takes into account the specific circumstances of each case.
It's important to note that property owned by one spouse before the marriage or acquired through gift or inheritance during the marriage may be considered separate property and may not be subject to division.
What is the 10-year rule for military spouses?
The 10/10 rule is a guideline issued by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) that governs the method of payment for military retirement. The rule states that a former spouse may apply for direct payment of military retirement if they have at least 10 years of marriage overlapping 10 years of creditable military service.
The rule is governed by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA). The DFAS will send payments directly to the former spouse if the service member and the former spouse meet the following two criteria:
- At least 10 years of marriage
- At least 10 years of active duty military service overlapping the marriage
The non-military spouse may be entitled to part of the service member's military retired pay in the divorce.
How do child custody and child support work in a Slidell military divorce?
For child custody cases, the following factors are taken into consideration by the court:
- Best interests of the child. The primary consideration in child custody decisions is the best interests of the child. The court will evaluate factors such as the child's relationship with each parent, the ability of each parent to provide a stable environment, and the child's adjustment to their community and school.
- Parenting plans. The court may require the parents to submit a parenting plan outlining how they will share custody and address visitation schedules. In military divorces where deployment or reassignment may impact schedules, flexibility on both sides is important.
- Relocation and deployments. Military service can involve frequent relocations and deployments. Custody agreements should address how these situations will be handled, including communication plans and visitation arrangements during deployment.
- Legal assistance. Consult with a family law attorney experienced in military divorces to navigate the complexities of child custody. They can help craft a custody arrangement that considers the unique challenges posed by military service.
For child support, the court will look at the following factors:
- Louisiana child support guidelines. Child support in Louisiana follows state guidelines that take into account factors such as each parent's income, the number of children, and other relevant expenses.
- Income considerations for military personnel. Military income, including base pay, housing allowances, and other benefits, may be considered when calculating child support. The court will look at the total compensation package to determine the appropriate support amount.
- Healthcare and other expenses. Child support orders typically include provisions for healthcare coverage, and parents may be required to share additional expenses, such as education or extracurricular activities.
- Modification. Child support orders can be modified if there are significant changes in circumstances, such as changes in income or additional dependents.
- There are certain legal ways to enforce child support orders, including wage garnishment, tax refund interception, and other remedies.
Ensure you seek legal advice from an experienced Slidell family law attorney to ensure that child support arrangements are fair and in compliance with state guidelines. A family law attorney can assist in calculating support amounts and addressing specific military-related factors. They can also help ensure that the best interests of the child are prioritized while considering the unique challenges posed by military service.
How does spousal support work in a Slidell military divorce?
In a Slidell military divorce, spousal support, sometimes called alimony, follows similar principles as in civilian divorces, with additional considerations due to the unique aspects of military life. Spousal support is not an automatic entitlement, and various factors are taken into account when determining whether it is appropriate and in what amount.
- Determining eligibility. The court considers several factors when determining the eligibility for spousal support, including the length of the marriage, each spouse's financial situation, and the standard of living established during the marriage. In military divorces, the potential for frequent relocations, deployments, and the impact of military service on employment opportunities may also be taken into account.
- Temporary support. Temporary spousal support may be awarded during the divorce proceedings to help the lower-earning spouse maintain financial stability while the divorce is ongoing.
- Rehabilitative support. Rehabilitative support is designed to assist the lower-earning spouse in acquiring education or training to become self-supporting. This type of support is often time-limited.
- Permanent support. In some cases, especially in long-term marriages, the court may award permanent spousal support if the circumstances warrant ongoing financial assistance.
However, with a military divorce, there are other considerations to keep in mind:
- Military income. The court will consider the military income of the service member when calculating spousal support. This includes base pay, housing allowances, and other benefits.
- Deployment and relocation. The potential for deployment and relocation in military life may impact the stability of employment for both spouses. The court may take these factors into consideration when determining the appropriateness and duration of spousal support.
- Healthcare benefits. The availability of military healthcare benefits may influence spousal support decisions, particularly if the non-military spouse is reliant on these benefits.
Where are Louisiana’s military bases?
Louisiana has the following military bases:
Do you have a Slidell military divorce lawyer near me?
The Law Office of James A. Graham is located in Slidell, at 1929 2nd St #A, and serves all of South Louisiana. We’re right off Front Street and minutes from the city court.
Look to our Slidell military divorce attorneys for help today
Military divorces can involve many more complications than a traditional divorce. It is important to have experienced Slidell military divorce attorneys on your side, like those at the Law Office of James A. Graham. Call our offices or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation. We also serve New Orleans and all of South Louisiana.