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Military Divorce

Nashville Family Lawyer Has the Experience Needed in Military Divorce Cases

Knowledgeable assistance to protect your rights and benefits

When service members and their spouses divorce, special issues arise related to procedure and substantive rights. To protect yourself, you must consult an attorney with experience in military divorce. At WalshLaw, I have more than 15 years of experience in Tennessee family law cases, including numerous military divorces. I know what’s at stake for you and your children, and I am determined to protect your rights and secure your future.

Procedural rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

If your spouse files for divorce while you are on active duty, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, isolated and helpless. How can you possibly respond when you’re half a world away? The good news is that you don’t have to. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows you to:

  • Obtain a stay or postponement of court proceedings if your military service materially affects your ability to proceed in the case
  • Get an automatic stay of 90 days in the proceedings when you make a written request

A judge can grant an additional stay of 90 days at his or her discretion.

Special assets to consider in a military divorce

No one goes into the U.S. military looking to get rich. However, the armed services do provide many important benefits to service members and their families. But, when a couple divorces, what right does a military spouse have to the benefits the couple previously enjoyed or was going to enjoy later in life? The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act allows state courts to treat military retired pay like property, rather than income, and to divide it as a marital asset according to the state’s law of equitable distribution. Thus, a court can, at its discretion, order a service member to share retirement pay with an ex-spouse.

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service even makes direct retirement payments to military ex-spouses, if they qualify. Eligible spouses must have been married for at least 10 years with at least 10 years of military service during the marriage.

Other special assets to consider in a military divorce are:

  • Thrift savings plans — The divorce court treats your TSP as it would a 401(k).
  • Survivors’ benefits plans — An ex-spouse does not have a right to continue as the service member’s beneficiary. However, this is an asset subject to settlement negotiations or litigation.
  • Base privileges — Spouses who satisfy the 20/20/20 rule are eligible to retain base privileges so they can continue to use the commissary and other amenities. This rule requires the marriage to and military service to have lasted at least 20 years, and the marriage and the military service to have overlapped for at least 20 years.
  • Tricare — Spouses who satisfy the 20/20/20 rule can keep Tricare benefits. Spouses who only satisfy the 20/20/15 rule may keep Tricare benefits for up to 12 months as long as they don’t remarry.

Because benefits are so important to military spouses and their children, many military couples negotiate a legal separation and do not finalize their divorce until their eligibility is secured. When you seek my advice for your military divorce, I respond with a candid assessment of your situation and a reliable strategy for achieving your goals.

Contact my Nashville, TN office for a consultation on military divorce

WalshLaw is proud to serve those who serve our country. When you come to me for military divorce representation, I provide honest counsel and zealous advocacy to protect your rights. To schedule a consultation, call 615-240-7457 or contact my Nashville office online. My office is located at 4535 Harding Pike, just west of White Bridge Pike and Woodmont Boulevard.

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Office Location
  • Nashville Office
    4535 Harding Pike
    Suite 208A
    Nashville, Tennessee 37205
    Phone: 615-915-0760
    Fax: 877-297-7310