Military Divorce Attorney in Phoenix – Navigating Unique Challenges with Expertise
Divorce can be the most challenging phase in anyone’s life. If you’re on active duty in the military, it becomes worse. You have to tackle multiple tasks at a time, such as:
- Fulfilling your obligations to your country
- Taking care of the family while managing emotional stress
- Navigating the complexities of the legal system
At the Law Office of Cosmas Onyia, we have successfully handled numerous military divorce cases across Arizona, including Phoenix. If you’re the spouse of a service member or are a service member going through a divorce, discuss your case with us. Our experienced military divorce attorney, Cosmas Onyia, can guide you through the complexities of divorce.
The Unique Challenges of a Military Divorce
Filing the divorce petition
As military personnel need to relocate often, the law allows them to file for divorce in different states:
- State where the non-military spouse is a resident
- State of deployment of servicemember
- The servicemember’s legal residence state
The legal residence state is where you lived before joining the military or that is enlisted on the LES document.
If you plan to file your divorce petition in Arizona, you must have lived in the state for 90 days.
Determining which jurisdiction has the authority to process your divorce petition is complicated due to the involvement of state and federal laws. However, it’s not easy to establish residency in Arizona as several state bylaws come into play.
Our experienced divorce attorneys can file your petition, whether you’re living in Arizona or a service member stationed at:
- David Monthan Air Force Base
- Luke Air Force Base
- Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
- David Monthan Air Force Base
- Camp Navajo Army Base
- Fort Huachuca Army Base
Distribution of military benefits
Arizona follows community property laws that divide marital assets equally between the spouses.
Property distribution between military spouses is often complex because they may own properties in different states. Each state has exclusive jurisdiction over properties located in it.
Arizona laws divide properties acquired during the marriage equally. However, if the assets are located in other states and Arizona courts have jurisdiction over both parties, they can order the parties to divide them equally. It’s known as in personam jurisdiction.
Arizona laws decide to what extent your pension is a marital property. Federal laws determine the method of its distribution.
DFAS directly sends your share of a pension if your marriage lasted ten years during the ten years of military service. This federal rule is also known as the 10/10 rule.
Some non-military spouses believe they are not entitled to the military pension because their marriage did not last for ten years, but that is not true. If your marriage did not last for ten years, it could affect the distribution method of your pension but not your entitlement.
There is a time gap between filing the divorce and the final judgment of a court. During this period, the non-military spouse retains all the healthcare benefits through TRICARE and other privileges.
After the final decree of the divorce, the 20/20/20 rule of federal law determines whether you can continue to have these benefits. Its requirements are:
- 20 years of military service
- 20 years of marriage
- 20 years of marriage overlaps 20 years of service
However, if you do not qualify, you can buy the Continued Health Care program and receive ongoing insurance coverage.
Choose The Law Office of Cosmas Onyia for your military divorce needs
If you need a seasoned expert attorney for your military divorce case, schedule a free consultation with Cosmas Onyia, P.C. He has over 20 years of experience representing military spouses, understands the unique challenges of your case, and ensures your best interests are protected.