Fayetteville Military Divorce Attorney
Skilled and Experienced Gidance for Military Families in Fort Bragg, Cumberland, and Moore Counties
In most respects, divorce is divorce, whether or not the divorcing spouses are in the military. There are a few special considerations for military service members going through divorce, however, that should be handled with care. For instance, active-duty military service members are protected from civil lawsuits, which may impact the timeline of a divorce. While the divorce process is largely the same for all families, it is in your best interests as a military service member or military spouse to work with a lawyer who has experience handling military divorces.
Hardin Law Firm has over a decade of experience guiding military families through divorce and related family law matters like child custody. Our principal military divorce attorney, Victoria Hardin, efficiently navigates legal procedures to ensure that you resolve your concerns in a timely fashion.
Our firm operates from several locations in Fayetteville and Carthage, North Carolina. We serve clients stationed at Fort Bragg, military installations across the United States, and bases throughout the world. You can rely on Hardin Law Firm to handle your legal issue with the discretion and professionalism you deserve.
Schedule an initial consultation with Hardin Law Firm today for more information. Supporting military families in Fort Bragg, Cumberland, and Moore Counties.
Military Divorce Disputes
Military spouses looking to file for divorce will follow the same procedure as any couple filing for divorce. To commence the process, they should file a complaint with the court in the county they reside. Either spouse must have been a resident of North Carolina for 6 months prior to filing. Depending on the situation, a service member being stationed in a particular area may be enough for them to be considered a permanent resident there. An experienced military divorce lawyer can better help the spouses examine their eligibility for divorce in the state and county.
One divorce law unique to military members is the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA). This allows active members of the military who have been served with divorce paperwork to request a stay of the proceedings during their time on active duty and for a brief period after they return from deployment. The purpose of the SCRA is for military members to focus on serving their country without having to worry about missing a court date for divorce back home that they will be more equipped to deal with when they return.
As with all divorces, military divorces will need to resolve the following disputes, and the process may differ slightly from traditional divorce:
- Child custody – the custody arrangement will be based on the child’s best interests as with a normal divorce, but parents may add a clause for how to handle or modify visitation when the military parent is deployed (e.g., doing video visits with the child instead)
- Child support – both parents are legally obligated to support the raising of their child, and a military spouse may request assistance from the service member’s commanding officer if the military parent does not obey their support obligation; failure to pay support will result in military court penalties, and the court may issue a garnishment of the military member’s wages for the purposes of support
- Alimony – as with child support, failure to pay spousal support may result in military court penalties and garnishment of military wages
- Property division – marital benefits like retirement can be divided between a military couple based on the length of the marriage; the longer the marriage, the likelier a non-military spouse can keep certain benefits of military retirement after the divorce, though a military service member can also work with an attorney if they do not agree to give their spouse certain benefits
Domestic Violence Matters
Another important area of military family law is domestic violence. Domestic violence occurs when someone commits an act of violence, sexual harm, or an imminent threat of violence or harm against a family or household member, such as:
- a current or former spouse;
- cohabitants who live together or who have lived together;
- a parent or child;
- a grandparent or grandchild;
- a co-parent;
- someone they were in a dating relationship with.
Domestic violence issues are especially sensitive for military service members, as a conviction can mark the end of a military career.
Attorney Victoria Hardin is a former prosecutor who knows how these cases are handled and successful defense strategies she can apply on your behalf. Her experience advocating for military service members will also prove crucial to your case, as the right approach for a civilian client might be disastrous for a service member because of the career implications. Drawing from her experience in family law, criminal law, and military issues, Ms. Hardin can protect your rights, your reputation, and your career.
Talk to a Lawyer Who Works with Military Families
Hardin Law Firm has represented numerous military families throughout our career. We are well-versed in the nuances of military divorce and can provide you with the knowledgeable guidance you need for your military family law concerns. We advocate for military service members, military spouses, and even military contractors with specific family law needs. While family law issues are handled in a similar way for all individuals, special considerations arise for military families. It is best to work with an attorney who has unique experience working with military service members to ensure all factors in your case are being considered. For legal guidance on your military divorce in Fort Bragg, Cumberland, and Moore Counties, contact Hardin Law Firm today.
“Ms. Hardin is the best attorney in Fayetteville and the surrounding area. She knows exactly what it takes to win your case.”
“If I could give 10 stars, I would. Ms. Hardin and her staff are the gold standard of professionalism.”
“I trusted all her advice and am very pleased with the results. Anyone looking for a good custody lawyer, she’s the one to go to!”
“Victoria Hardin is a fantastic attorney that genuinely cares about her clients.”
“Victoria and her firm exceeded my expectations. If you need a divorce, family law, custody or child support attorney, this is the firm you want. I cannot give enough stars, 5 isn’t enough.”
If I Am a Service Member Stationed Out of State, Where Do I File for Divorce?
If your spouse has lived in North Carolina for at least six months and you have lived in separate residences for over a year, you may file for divorce in the state.
My Spouse Is Threatening to Divorce Me While I Am Deployed. Does the Law Protect Me Against This Legal Action?
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was passed to allow members of the military to focus on their military service while on active duty. If a service member is served with a legal petition, he or she can ask the court to postpone legal proceedings. These postponements can be extended numerous times as long as the service member is engaged in active duty.
If I Am Deployed, Will I Lose Custody of My Children?
Courts routinely modify child custody orders when a major change in circumstances has occurred. Deployment is an event that meets this standard.
Divorced service members who are parents may fear that their civilian exes will file for primary custody during deployment. If this is a concern you share, it is wise to meet with an attorney who is experienced in military divorce and understands which SCRA provisions may apply to your circumstances.
Victoria Hardin has represented military parents for a range of complex custody matters. She will use her substantial knowledge of military divorce laws to design a compelling argument for your custody case. She knows how to help you protect your parenting rights.
If I Am Deployed, May I Receive Virtual Visitation Rights?
In North Carolina, noncustodial parents may remain in contact with their child through electronic communication. Email, video conferencing and instant messaging are all forms of acceptable communication. Judges can set guidelines that determine contact hours, among other issues.
What Is the United Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) And How Can It Help Me After Divorce?
Congress passed this act to recognize the sacrifices military spouses make during their marriage. The USFSPA allows former spouses of service members to access military benefits, including health care, commissary privileges and military pensions. The type of benefits and sum you are entitled to receive is determined by a variety of factors that are listed below.
What Is the 10-10 Rule?
The 10-10 rule is used to determine whether the former spouse will receive payments directly from DFAS for a portion of the earned military pension. If you were married to your spouse for at least 10 years and your spouse served in the military for 10 years while married, the military is responsible for paying you the retirement pay so long as the appropriate order is filed.
Can I Keep My Tricare Coverage?
For former military spouses to remain covered under the Tricare program, they must meet these requirements set by the 20-20-20 rule:
- They were married for at least 20 years.
- Their former spouse served for at least 20 years.
- Their years married and engaged in service overlapped by at least 20 years.
The 20-20-15 rule provides one year of Tricare benefits to former military spouses who:
- Were married to a service member for at least 20 years
- Were married to a service member who served the military for at least 20 years
- Were married during a former spouse’s 15 years of military service
Children of service members remain covered by the Tricare program after the divorce if the service member lists them as dependents.
My Ex Is Behind on Support Payments. What Options Do I Have to Receive Back Payments?
If your former spouse is a service member, you can turn to the courts or to your ex’s commanding officer for help. You can file a petition with the court to enforce a support order. The court may demand that your former spouse’s wages be garnished to pay owed support.
Commanding officers may penalize service members who violate support orders by reducing pay or rank, among other penalties.