Military divorces can be more complicated than civilian divorces. Concerns around military benefits and overseas child custody, among other issues, can make an already difficult time even more trying.
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) was established to protect health and retirement benefits for divorced spouses of active and inactive military personnel. If you or your spouse is an active or inactive member of the armed forces and you are facing the end of your marriage, seeking legal help from an attorney who understands the complexities of military divorce is essential to a positive resolution. Attorney Jonathan D. Katz has over 30 years of experience in handling all areas of family law including civilian and military divorces in Fort Drum, Fort Hamilton, Watervilet Arsenal, Saratoga Springs and throughout New York.Find Experienced Legal Help with a New York Military Divorce in Kingston, New Paltz, Highland, & Ulster County
At its core, a military divorce is similar to a civilian divorce. However, the differences can be surprisingly intricate. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA):
Divorced spouses of active and inactive military are entitled to health care benefits and a share of their spouse’s military pension and commissary privileges.
Military retirement pay is split between divorcing spouses based on the length of the marriage and the duration of active duty.
Parenting issues can become particularly complicated. The realities of deployments and relocations add extra pressure to military personnel fearful of losing time with their children.
Attorney Jonathan D. Katz is a strong advocate for clients’ rights, especially with regard child custody issues. For more than 30 years, Mr. Katz has guided military families through highly complicated child custody cases. He will work hard to protect your child’s best interests while reducing the emotional stress inherent in divorce.
You can rely on Mr. Katz’s experience with contested and uncontested military divorce in the following areas:
- Spousal Support
- Property Division
- Child Custody, Including Joint Custody
- Out of State and International Custody
- Visitation Agreements
- Child Support
As with civilian divorce, there are four grounds for military divorce in New York:
Cruel and inhuman treatment on the part of one of the spouses
- Abandonment for one year or more
- Imprisonment for three or more years
However, you can now apply for a “no fault” divorce which only requires you to be living under a separation agreement for one year. You can even get divorced if your spouse does not agree to it. However, this situation requires that the person not initiating the divorce be served divorce papers, according to the laws of the State of New York. Once papers have been received, you can proceed with the divorce whether or not your spouse is in agreement.Equitable Distribution of Assets in Military Divorces
While equitable doesn’t mean half, it does mean fair. This means you should be able to get out of your marriage with important, valuable assets you came into it with — such as heirloom jewelry. However, the items you bought and accumulated during your marriage, including property, cars and money in bank accounts, must be divided.
A qualified family lawyer with experience in military divorces can help you divide the items that fall into the “yours and mine” category. This may be complicated if you’ve been living oversees or are maintaining two households due to deployment.
Talk with Mr. Katz about your assets to make sure you get what’s yours, while not having to take on debt you didn’t incur.Talk with an Ulster County, NY Family Lawyer who Understands the Complexities of Military Divorce
For over 30 years, Jonathan Katz has provided practical family law advice to clients in Ulster County, including Saugerties, Highland, New Paltz, Rochester and Kingston, NY. Divorce laws pertaining to military marriages can be significantly more complicated than laws for civilian divorces. Mr. Katz is proud to serve military personnel in the State of New York.
Contact Jonathan D. Katz today to speak with an experienced military divorce attorney. Get answers to your family law questions today.