Are You Interested in Filing for Divorce? Let Our Firm Help You!
All types of divorces can be emotionally overwhelming and hotly contested. When one or both spouses are service members of the U.S. military, a divorce can present unique obstacles that can make the process quite complex because it involves both Massachusetts and federal law. Whether you are an active duty, reserve, or retired member or married to one, it is imperative to seek legal assistance from an experienced family law attorney.
At the Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs, Jr., our Worcester military divorce attorney can help you navigate the intricacies of the legal process and obtain the most favorable divorce settlement possible so you can start a fresh, new chapter in life. We handle divorces involving members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Let us protect your rights and best interests immediately.
Military Divorce Requirements in Massachusetts
If you are interested in filing for divorce in Massachusetts, you or your spouse must live in the state. Additionally, you can file for divorce if you or your spouse are stationed in the state.
The grounds for a military divorce are similar to a civilian divorce. In order for the state to have jurisdiction over the case, the spouse on active duty needs to be personally served with the divorce petition.
The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act protects service members from having final orders entered against them by default, if they fail to respond to a petition. It is possible for the service member to delay the divorce proceedings for up to 60 days.
What Benefits Are You Entitled to in a Military Divorce?
According to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), former spouses and soon-to-be-former-spouses of service members may receive healthcare, commissary, exchange, and other benefits. However, in order to receive full benefits under TRICARE, former spouses must qualify for the 20/20/20 rule.
The following are the requirements for the 20/20/20 rule:
- The marriage has lasted at least 20 years
- The service member spouse must be on active duty for at least 20 years
- The marriage and service overlapped at least 20 years
- The former spouse has not enrolled in an employee-based health plan
If the overlap between marriage and military service is only 15 years, then the former spouse may receive a maximum one year of TRICARE coverage. If the former spouse gets remarried, then the medical benefits will be terminated.
If a former spouse isn’t eligible for healthcare coverage because of a short-term marriage, he/she may still receive retirement pay. The USFSPA allows the courts to aware non-military spouses a portion of the service member’s retirement pay, which can be up to half of the pay earned during the marriage. This type of compensation can be awarded as marital property, alimony, or child support. The state has the power to decide how this is divided, rather than federal law.
Ready to Begin Your Case Today
Whether you are a service member or a spouse of a military member, our Worchester divorce attorney can evaluate your case, determine your legal options, and protect your rights in order to get the best results possible. Our goal is to ensure you and your children obtain the benefits you need for the future.
For more information about military divorce, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.