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Military Divorce


Virginia Military Divorce Attorneys Helping Service Members and Spouses End Their Marriage

Experienced lawyers serve clients throughout the Hampton Roads area

Any type of divorce — military or civilian — can cause pain and stress. However, when you and/or your spouse serve in the Armed Forces, you might face unique complications. Hunter Law Firm has the experience and legal knowledge to safeguard clients’ interests when a military marriage ends. We are proud to make our home in the Hampton Roads area, which has been home to American service members for centuries.

Specific issues related to divorces among members of the Armed Forces

Congress recognizes that members of the Armed Forces face certain pressures that civilians do not. One measure that offers some relief is the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, which offers important protections to members of the military who are not able to meet their financial and legal obligations due to active service. The Act also protects reservists and members of the National Guard who are activated under Title 10 orders. If you or your spouse is on active duty and you are considering filing for divorce, we can advise you on issues such as:

  • Jurisdiction selection — A service member can choose to file in the state where he or she is stationed, which could alter the rules and procedures used in the divorce proceedings.
  • Delays in legal proceedings — Individuals in the military are not considered to be in default if they fail to respond to a legal complaint while on active duty or for a suitable period thereafter. Our Virginia military divorce attorneys understand how to use this rule to benefit our clients and work to achieve the best possible outcome under the pertinent laws.
  • Base privileges — Military spouses who have been wed to a service member for at least 20 years while they were on active duty can keep their military ID card and maintain their base privileges, such as access to the PX.

Each family law attorney at our firm provides skillful, compassionate guidance to members of the military and their spouses throughout the divorce process so that they can look forward to a bright future.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act

When one spouse serves in the Armed Forces, the other also makes significant sacrifices. Military retirement pay is designed to compensate the men and women who contributed so much to their country, along with their families. To make sure that military wives and husbands are not forgotten even if they eventually divorce their partner, Congress passed the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) in 1982. This law allows a state court to award a former spouse a percentage of the marital share of a military member’s disposable military retired pay provided such request is made in the divorce. Under what is known as the USFSPA’s “10/10 Rule,” someone who was married to a member of the Armed Forces for at least 10 years can receive their share of retirement benefits directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service if the service member completed at least 10 years of creditable military duty while the couple was married. If a former spouse and military member were married less than 10 years, the former spouse may still request a state court in a divorce proceeding to award a percentage of the marital share of the military member’s disposable military retired pay; however, the marital share of the military retirement will be paid directly to the former spouse by the military retiree.  While USFSPA authorizes a state court to divide military retirement, there is no automatic entitlement to receive a portion of the military member’s retirement.  State courts will use their applicable laws to determine the portion, if any, of military retirement to be divided.  If you have a question about USFSPA eligibility or require assistance obtaining your rightful share of the benefits, we can help. If you have a question about USFSPA eligibility or require assistance obtaining your rightful share of the benefits, we can help.

Contact a knowledgeable military divorce lawyer to learn about your options

If you or your spouse serves in the military and you’ve decided to end your marriage, the Virginia family law attorneys at Hunter Law firm are here for you. We look forward to assisting you and thank you for trusting Hunter Law Firm with your legal matter.

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Our Offices

Newport News
12610 Patrick Henry Drive
Suite B
Newport News, VA 23602
Phone: 757-LAW-FIRM
Fax: 757-825-9389

910 West Mercury Boulevard,
Suite 2A
Hampton, Virginia 23666
Phone: 757-825-0400
Fax: 757-825-9389

6834 Coleman’s Crossing Avenue
Suite C
Hayes, Virginia 23072
Phone: 804-694-0560
Fax: 804-693-3343

3800 Poplar Hill Road,
Suite G
Chesapeake, Virginia 23321
Phone: 757-393-1110
Fax: 757-393-7764

Office Hours
Monday-Thursday: 8:00am-5:00pm
Friday: 8:00am-3:00pm