Representing Servicemembers And Military Spouses
In any divorce involving a member of the military, whether you are an active duty, reserve or retired service member or spouse of a service member, it is important to consult an experienced lawyer. Thousand Oaks military divorce attorney Susan H. Witting is experienced at representing the interests of military servicemembers and their spouses in divorce cases.
Our firm frequently represents servicemembers stationed at Naval Base Ventura County, located at Point Mugu and Port Hueneme, and their spouses. Moreover, we have provided support and expertise to both clients and attorneys located worldwide to assist them with military family law questions involving California. We help them understand and resolve complex military divorce issues such as the following:
- Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA): Under this federal law, some former military spouses are entitled to health benefits, base privileges, survivor benefits and other benefits after divorce. We are familiar with this federal law and criteria for benefits to former spouses, including the “20/20/20” rules and the procedures for obtaining benefits under the USFSPA. Spouses not falling under the “20/20/20” rule also qualify for modified benefits under this law. We have extensive experience helping clients determine how these benefits should be divided in divorce.
- Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): This statute both protects the service member from being subject to court action without his or her knowledge and, as a consequence, affects a spouse’s ability to bring a divorce action against a service member during or after deployment. We are experienced at helping military members and their spouses understand their options under the SCRA and achieve their goals, even during these times.
- Division of military pay for support purposes: In addition to their base pay, servicemembers may also receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and a variety of other entitlements which need to be considered in the calculation of child and/or spousal support. The taxability of these payments influence the amount of support paid and received, and we can assist in determining the proper allocation of income. We are also familiar with the processing of support orders through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) for payment directly to the payee.
- Jurisdictional issues: The California courts may not always be the appropriate or preferable place to bring an action involving servicemembers. Those stationed in California or those stationed elsewhere whose spouses live in California may have a choice of where to bring a case, or may be restricted from filing in California. We will discuss all your options with you and help you understand where is the most efficient and economical place to file your case.
- Custody Issues: Servicemembers and their families who are facing deployment often have special issues of concern when it comes to child custody and visitation. We can help address these issues.
Whether you are a service member or the spouse of a service member, it is important to talk to a lawyer who is familiar with these and other military divorce issues in order to ensure that you understand and protect your rights and interests in your divorce case. Working in conjunction with a retire Navy JAG officer, our staff can provide effective assistance in all areas of military divorce and related issues.
Call a Ventura County Military Family Law Attorney at 805-777-7371
Our offices are conveniently located right off the 101 freeway in Thousand Oaks, with plentiful free parking. If you need assistance with a military divorce issue, do not hesitate to call us at 805-777-7371 or e-mail us to schedule a consultation with attorney Susan H. Witting.