West Virginia (WV) has a long, proud history of military service. Life in the service can be difficult for families, though, and divorce rates for military workers are among the highest. Challenges like deployment, relocation, and military benefits can make the divorce process more difficult for service members and their spouses. A knowledgeable WV military divorce lawyer can offer invaluable assistance to service members, veterans, or their spouses during this tough time.
A WV Military Divorce Lawyer Explains the Challenges
Military families often face unique circumstances that civilian families do not. These are some of the WV military divorce issues that families may have to navigate:
- Deployment and distance: Military duties can lead to long periods of separation, complicating the process of divorce. Arranging court dates or mediation sessions can be challenging if one spouse is deployed.
- Relocation: Frequent relocations can affect decisions about child custody and property division. What works in one state might not apply in West Virginia.
- Military benefits: Understanding how to fairly divide military benefits, such as pensions and healthcare, requires specific knowledge of military family law in West Virginia.
Jason Harwood is a Southern WV divorce attorney who is equipped to handle these challenges. With extensive knowledge of WV divorce laws and processes and a deep respect for the sacrifices of service members and their families, he counsels and represents his clients with compassion and skill.
Working through WV Military Divorce Issues
Determining child custody and support arrangements is complex in military divorces, given the potential for relocation and deployment. Even after a divorce is final, issues related to military family law in West Virginia, like child support and custody, often need to be reassessed due to life changes. A knowledgeable lawyer can help create and modify parenting plans that accommodate the unique demands of military life while prioritizing the best interests of the children.
WV divorce laws allow for the payment of spousal support—or alimony—when a judge determines that it is appropriate. Assessing the income, financial condition, and earning potential of each spouse is necessary to establish if one party should pay spousal support and the amount that is required. Military pay schedules and benefits can complicate these assessments, but an experienced attorney can help ensure an accurate evaluation of all relevant factors.
Marital property division is another aspect of divorce that can be more complex for military families. In West Virginia, property acquired during the marriage is generally considered marital property and must be divided equitably in a divorce. A WV military divorce lawyer can help you evaluate civilian and military assets, including pensions and benefits, and negotiate a divorce settlement that divides those assets fairly.
How a WV Military Divorce Lawyer Can Help
The process for divorce in WV is governed by state law, but federal laws also come into play in military divorces. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), for example, provides protections to members of the military service in civil actions. Because divorce falls into this category, courts must consider and accommodate the schedules of active-duty service members who may not be available due to their military commitments.
Military spouses and former spouses are also entitled to certain benefits under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). This law sets forth the guidelines for the division of military pension benefits and entitles former spouses to specified survivor and healthcare benefits.
Understanding how state and federal laws impact a military divorce is necessary to ensure that your interests are protected. An experienced attorney can explain how the laws apply to your case, manage negotiations and court proceedings, and work with you through the sometimes complicated process of military divorce.
Contact Southern WV Divorce Attorney Jason Harwood
Divorce in a military family involves specific and complex issues. A WV military divorce lawyer, like Jason Harwood at Harwood Legal in Logan, WV, can offer the support and guidance needed to tackle these challenges head-on. Jason can provide legal counsel, negotiate on your behalf, and ensure your rights are protected throughout the divorce process. Contact Harwood Legal by calling 304-752-5015 or completing this online contact form to schedule a consultation today and begin moving forward.