Many articles have been written about the differences between military divorce lawyers and traditional divorce lawyers, and most of these have focused on one thing – military retired pay. But a lot of the information pertaining to division of military benefits can be found by learning about the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA.) The Act contains a special jurisdictional limitation on the power of a state court to divide retirement.
It may be a little late to find this out now; but the best way to avoid complications with a marital agreement is to have a pre-nuptial agreement. Not that “pre-nups” are foolproof, as they are often discredited even after they are signed; but they lay a foundation for what to expect in the event of a divorce.
The average couple may not quibble as much over the division of assets and liabilities, or they may find a way to compromise through mediation. But a marriage can become more financially complicated if the couple owns a family business or a diverse portfolio of investments. When this occurs, having a pre-nuptial agreement in place will prevent a lot of the confusion and provide a clear path to resolution.
We’ve all heard the horror stories from couples who have suffered great financial hardships after going through a divorce, often requiring a significant reduction in their standard of living. The realities of living separately, paying child support or losing money on a marital home are not unfamiliar to Colorado Springs divorce attorneys. Over the last few years, many couples have either delayed divorce because it wouldn’t work financially, or they’ve suffered the consequences of post-divorce bankruptcy.
If there’s one thing that military service members worry about, it’s the possibility of losing a sizable portion of their retired pay in a divorce settlement. Retired pay in the military is different than a 401K or pension in the civilian world and it is treated differently in a divorce situation, but you may need the help of a Colorado Springs military divorce attorney to understand it.
If you are going through a divorce, one of the most contentious issues may involve deciding how your children will be raised. Questions may include “Who will win primary physical custody?”; “How will holidays and vacation time be divided?” and “How will decisions be made with regard to the child’s religious upbringing and education?” While all of these decisions fall into the category of “child custody,” it all comes down to one thing: how will divorcing parents get their fair share of parenting time without endangering the best interests of the children? As a Colorado family lawyer, I always recommend my clients work this out in mediation, but that isn’t always possible. When parents don’t agree, it will ultimately become the court’s decision.
Is it time to hire a divorce lawyer, or is it time to hire a family law firm. A family law firm offers a full-service approach to the various legal issues that may come up over the years, rather than focusing primarily on the divorce itself. It’s not that a single divorce lawyer is untrained on other aspects of the law; but they rarely have the depth of experience one would expect from a family law firm.
If you’re in the military and getting a divorce, you may start to see the words “military divorce” associated with family law firms. Just to be clear, a “military divorce” is not a specific proceeding; it is just the same as any other “Dissolution of Marriage” action in the state of Colorado. It does not take place in a military courtroom, but in front of the same domestic relations judges that preside over civilian divorces. The only reason “military divorce” is such a big part of an attorney’s practice in Colorado Springs is that the Armed Forces have such a large presence in the region.
Once you have come to the conclusion that there is no way to repair your marriage, divorce is usually the next logical step; but many couples try to get it done too quickly and they make very costly mistakes along the way. The best divorce lawyers will advise their clients to take it slow and get it right by paying attention to both large and small details.
One contentious element of any divorce settlement is determining its financial impact on each spouse. When one spouse expects a dramatic change in his or her standard of living after the divorce, spousal maintenance is often ordered. Some people work hard to avoid the tax consequences of court-ordered spousal maintenance, since it is taxed as income to the recipient.
Child custody is complicated enough in a civilian divorce, but when you are serving in the military it can be downright confusing. It’s not that a military spouse cannot argue for custody in a military divorce, but there has always been an unspoken assumption that military members would not win a custody battle. That may have been true when men made up a larger portion of the military, but apparently it is no longer the case.