Huntsville Military Divorce Attorney Leigh Daniel Can Help You Create a Better Start to the Next Chapter of Your Life
Huntsville Military Divorce Attorney
Filing for divorce is among the most stressful changes a person can go through in life. If you or your spouse is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the process can feel even more difficult – especially if one of you is on active duty elsewhere in the world.
However, you do not have to go through this process alone. At Leigh Daniel Family Law, our compassionate legal team offers:
- Decades of experience helping military families navigate complicated divorces.
- Aggressive representation in negotiating deployment custody issues and child support payments.
- Tailored approaches to fighting for equitable division of assets.
- Smart strategies for handling Survivor Benefit Plans and military pension and retirement.
- In-depth understanding of the Service members Civil Relief Act and how it could impact your case.
During this tough time, you need an experienced Huntsville military divorce attorney by your side who understands military regulations and how they affect divorces in Alabama. Contact us today to find out how our skilled legal team will fight for your rights and the future you deserve.
The following information applies only to divorces where one or both parties are current or previous members of the military. If you are not part of the military, please see our pages on contested divorces and uncontested divorces in Huntsville, Alabama.
Can I File for Divorce in Alabama?
In order to file for divorce in Alabama, you or your spouse must reside in the state or be stationed here. Generally speaking, if one spouse resides in Alabama, he or she may file for divorce here as long as he or she has been in the state for at least six months – no matter where in the world the other spouse currently resides.
Both parties in the divorce must understand the protections that are in place for deployed service members:
- Courts in Alabama have the option to postpone divorce proceedings until an active-duty spouse is back in the country and can appear in court on his or her own behalf. This protection is provided under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
- However, the active-duty spouse has the right to waive this protection and move on with the divorce proceeding, even if he or she is not in the U.S.
How are Child Support and Custody Issues in Military Divorces Different?
For military families, child support and child custody issues are governed both by Alabama law and by Armed Forces regulations. That means reaching an agreement on these issues can be much more complicated than in a civilian divorce.
Alabama Law and Military Divorces
Alabama requires that questions of child support and child custody be resolved, whenever possible, in a way that is in the “best interests of the child.” What this means for any particular children or families depends on a number of factors, including:
- Ages of children
- Relationships with each parent
- Medical needs
Alabama child custody laws recognize that children have a right to a relationship with each of their loving parents. This may mean sorting out fair and reasonable visitation when one family member is overseas for months at a time. It could also include working out a way for the child to have contact with both families, even if one parent is deployed.
Alabama child support laws indicate that members of the military can be expected to pay both child support and alimony – but not if the total amount is more than 60 percent of the service member’s income.
Military Divorce Law
Issues of child support (as well as alimony) are also governed by military regulations that can be specific to each branch. For example:
Army regulations require members of this branch to provide “regular and adequate support” to their children. The regulations provide further guidelines for setting minimum support amounts. Army service members may be required to pay this amount even if there is no other court order or written agreement that requires them to pay child support.
The experienced Huntsville military divorce attorneys at Leigh Daniel Family Law are extremely careful to negotiate appropriate child custody arrangements and child support payments that fit within both the service member’s ability to pay and the guidelines established by Alabama law. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.
In a Military Divorce, Retirement Accounts and Military Pensions Can Be Affected
One of the first questions to be answered in any divorce proceeding is how the couple will split the marital assets. “Assets” include anything of value that the couple owns in the marriage, from the house and cars to frequent-flyer miles and retirement accounts.
Because a retirement account often represents a couple’s single largest investment, it often takes center stage during discussions about how to divide the marital assets.
Normally, Alabama divorce laws govern how retirement funds are split between a divorcing couple. When one spouse is a member of the military, though, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) also affects the divorce proceedings. Generally speaking:
If the marriage lasted for 10 years or longer while one spouse was on active duty, the civilian spouse may have a right to part of the service member spouse’s retirement pay.
Will the Military Provide Me with a Lawyer for My Divorce?
Government lawyers who serve members of the Armed Forces generally do so only in criminal proceedings. These lawyers may be prohibited from representing you or your spouse in any civil case, including divorce proceedings.
In looking for a civilian attorney, you should make sure you choose a knowledgeable Huntsville military divorce lawyer who has experience in:
- Alabama divorce laws.
- Federal laws governing members of the Armed Forces.
- Regulations in various branches of the military.
At Leigh Daniel Family Law, our skilled legal team is well-versed in the many different restrictions that apply to military divorces in Alabama. We have experience representing both service members and their spouses, and we take pride in providing families with the strength to move forward with their lives.
Let Our Huntsville Military Divorce Attorneys Help You Move Forward
Communication is always tough in divorce cases, but when one spouse is deployed overseas, it can be even tougher. Our Huntsville military divorce lawyers are committed to making this process as efficient and smooth as possible.
When you choose to work with our compassionate legal team, you will find that we are dedicated to supporting you through this difficult time and encouraging you to focus on the better days that are ahead. Our office strives to communicate openly and honestly with our clients, and we do our best to answer all calls and emails within 24 hours. That’s because we want you to feel in charge of your case ─ and in charge of your life.
To schedule a confidential consultation about your military divorce case, contact us today.