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Do I Need a Military Divorce Lawyer for my Colorado Springs Divorce?

Saturday, 20 November 2010

blog-logoThe Colorado Springs area has been a hub for the U.S. military ever since 1942, when Camp Carson was erected shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack.  Since then the city has attracted several other military installations, and is now home to some of the finest facilities in the nation.  Unfortunately, along with serving our country in two wars, many service members are dealing with the realities of getting divorced. 

Whether you are stationed at Peterson AFB, Fort Carson, the U.S. Air Force Academy or Schriever Air Force Base, you may be dealing with a military divorce.  One thing that is very important to understand is this: military divorce is a lot more complicated than your typical Colorado Springs divorce.  And while most Colorado Springs divorce lawyers are somewhat familiar with military divorce, not all of them are qualified to take on your case. 

Before you select a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer to represent you in these matters, it is important to know which questions to ask. Here are some questions that will help you determine whether an attorney is qualified to help you in a military divorce.

  1. How will the SSCRA (Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act) affect the service of a summons in my divorce?  By asking this question, you will find out whether the attorney knows that the name of this act was changed in 2003 to become the SRCA (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act).  You will also find out if they know that there are no specific requirements in this Act regarding the service of a summons.
  2. Can the state of Colorado divide the military retired pay of a service member if their spouse resides in this state?  The answer to this question is no.  Here you should find out how much the attorney knows about the USFSPA (Uniformed Services Former Spouse‚Äôs Protection Act). 
  3. What medical benefits will a civilian spouse be entitled to after divorce when the marriage only lasted ten years?  The answer is none. Here, the attorney should be able to explain the 20 year minimum timeframe for a marriage, as well as the 15 year service overlap that must have occurred in order for the spouse to receive transitional medical benefits.

There are several other ways to determine if your Colorado Springs divorce lawyer is adept at military divorce, but you should have a fairly good idea of their expertise after asking these three questions.  Not every military divorce in Colorado Springs is this complicated, but you will want to be sure your lawyer is on top of every detail.

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