Military Divorce Lawyer in Rochester, NY
Dedicated Rochester Military Divorce Lawyer with Over 20 Years of Experience
Military divorce rates are high for a myriad of reasons. Military couples experience more stress than civilian couples do. The time away, the stress of combat, and lack of routine puts these marriages in peril. If you are one of the many military couples considering divorce, you want to know how to move forward. How can you make it through the proceedings?
The Cimino Law Firm has more than two decades of experience handling military divorces. We understand both federal and New York laws that govern these divorces. Also, due to our experience, we understand the complexity of the emotions that you are going through.
We will be your legal team and your confidant as you make it through this difficult time. Call us today for a free phone consultation regarding your divorce.
How Are Divorce Papers Served in a Military Divorce?
Many civilian spouses wonder how they can give divorce papers to an active-duty member of the military. Is it possible to begin the divorce proceedings when the military spouse is serving outside of the state of New York?
The Soldiers and Sailors Civilian Relief Act (SCRA) allows active-duty military members to postpone divorce proceedings while on active duty. That postponement continues for 60 days after the tour of duty ends. Civilians can serve active-duty military personnel with divorce papers, but the military spouse has the right to postpone the proceedings if he or she desires.
In cases of an uncontested divorce, the active-duty member can submit a waiver affidavit. This will allow the divorce to move forward. In all other cases, though, the civilian spouse needs to wait for the active-duty serviced member’s tour to end to begin divorce proceedings.
How Is Child Custody Handled in a Military Divorce?
Child custody is one of the most challenging things our clients deal with during a military divorce. This is a concern for both the civilian and the military spouse. Many people feel better after they understand the laws that govern child custody in military divorces.
An active-duty military member’s legal team can use SCRA to prevent the judge from determining child custody while on duty. While SCRA prevents the judge from making permanent custody orders, he or she can still make a temporary order for child custody. Then, when the active-duty service member’s tour ends, the judge can determine a permanent custody arrangement.
How Is Spousal Maintenance and Child Support Handled in a Military Divorce?
Spousal maintenance and child support are essential facets of any divorce. There are special provisions regarding these payments in military divorce cases, though. The combined payments cannot be more than 60 percent of the military personnel’s pay. Our legal team will help you calculate how much you will have to pay or what you can expect to receive, depending on your situation.
How Are Military Benefits Handled in a Military Divorce?
Military benefits are a complex aspect of military divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) states that the federal government will only divide and distribute military pensions if the couple has been married for at least 10 years while the military personnel was in active-duty.
Many people get confused by this law. They think they are not entitled to any of the military personnel’s pension due to the length of their marriage. However, the law does not prevent people from getting any of the pension. It merely means that the government will not distribute it. If the civilian spouse is entitled to some of the pension, the military spouse will have to pay it directly.
The Cimino Law Firm can help this process go smoothly. From determining the amount owed to arranging the payments, we can take the stress out of this process.
What Are The Grounds for Divorce in a Military Divorce?
Grounds for a military divorce are the same as grounds for a civilian divorce. As with other divorces in New York, you can file for a no-fault or fault divorce.
Many of our clients choose a no-fault military divorce based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. You can file for this if your marriage has been broken beyond repair for at least six months. Before the court grants the divorce, you have to settle all aspects, including the division of property, child custody, and spousal support. The Cimino Laws Firm can help you with this process.
You can file for at-fault divorce on the grounds of:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
Also, you can file for a divorce after a legal separation agreement or judgment of separation has been in effect for at least one year. Separation agreements were more common before New York allowed no-fault divorces.
Choosing the grounds for divorce can seem overwhelming. When you call The Cimino Law Firm, we will go over the reason for the divorce with you. Then we will help you choose the grounds to use when filing for a military divorce.
Can Mediation Help in a Military Divorce?
Many of our clients going through a military divorce have two concerns. They want the process to go as quickly as possible because one spouse could be deployed at any time, and they also want it to be affordable. Many realize that mediation is the way to accomplish both. The Cimino Law Firm can act as the mediator in the divorce proceedings. We will serve as a neutral party as we help you agree to the terms of the divorce.
Mediation also allows both parties to maintain their privacy during the divorce. Unlike the litigation process where the information presented becomes part of the public record, mediation proceedings are kept private. Anything said in mediation cannot be used in the court and will not become part of the public record. This reduces some of the stress related to military divorce.
Both parties also get to choose the outcome. A court order is binding. If the court decides on issues like property division and child custody, those orders must be followed. However, in mediation, parties choose the agreement. They decide on all matters through compromise. Then, when the parties have agreed, our firm will file the divorce with the courts. Then the decisions will be binding.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
When you decided to file for divorce, you likely felt two emotions. One, you were sad about dissolving your marriage, but two, you felt a little relieved that you have finally found a path forward. At the same time, you seem busier than ever before as you try to make it through the divorce. You didn’t realize how time-consuming a military divorce can be.
We understand that you are juggling lots of things right now, so we make it easy to get started. Begin the process by calling us for a free consultation. We will go over your case with you and talk about the strategy to help you settle this quickly. With more than two decades of experience, we are confident we can help you find the best path forward during this difficult time.
We also make it easy to see us in person. We have offices in Rochester and Webster, New York, and you are welcome to visit either one. When you come in, we will take the information we learned in the consultation, gather additional evidence, and move forward.
Pick up the phone and call us today. Then we can schedule an in-person meeting.
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