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Douglas County Military Divorce Lawyer

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Douglas County Military Divorce Lawyer

Filing for divorce can be an emotional and difficult experience for a couple in Douglas County, Georgia. However, when one or both spouses serve in the military, the divorce process can be even more complicated. In addition to Georgia divorce laws, military couples must contend with federal laws that govern some aspects of a military divorce.

The best way to navigate a military divorce is to hire a Douglas County divorce lawyer with significant experience handling military divorce cases. At Bardley McKnight Law Divorce Lawyers, our legal team understands the complexities and unique issues involved in a military divorce. We use our experience, knowledge, and resources to protect your rights and best interests.

Contact Bardley McKnight Law Divorce Lawyers at (470) 308-5409 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Douglas County military divorce attorney to discuss your situation.

How Bardley McKnight Law Divorce Lawyers Can Help if You Are Seeking a Military Divorce in Douglas County, Georgia

How Bardley McKnight Law Divorce Lawyers Can Help if You Are Seeking a Military Divorce in Douglas County, Georgia

The unique issues that must be addressed when a military couple divorces can be confusing. Federal laws governing military divorces are difficult to understand. Sometimes, federal and state laws may even contradict each other.

In this circumstance, you need an attorney who understands how being in the military service can impact issues such as child custody and property division during a divorce. Our attorneys at Bardley McKnight Law Divorce Lawyers are skilled in all areas of family law. We have 40 years of combined experience that equip us to handle the most complex divorce matters.

When you hire our top-rated Douglas County divorce lawyers, we handle all aspects of your divorce case. You can expect that we will:

  • Explain the differences between a military divorce and a civilian divorce
  • Discuss your legal options regarding child custody, property division, and domestic support
  • Assist you in setting priorities and goals for your divorce settlement
  • Develop a legal strategy based on the law and the evidence in your case to accomplish your goals
  • Prepare and file all documents related to your divorce
  • Investigate allegations related to hidden assets, an unfit parent, and other disputed matters
  • Work with leading experts when necessary
  • Negotiate a fair divorce settlement through private mediation
  • Represent you in court and proceed to trial if your spouse refuses to agree to a fair divorce settlement

Our Douglas County military divorce attorneys are seasoned trial lawyers who do not hesitate to go to trial when necessary. However, we are resourceful negotiators skilled in mediating fair settlements to avoid litigation.

Contact Bardley McKnight Law Divorce Lawyers to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced military divorce lawyer in Douglas County, GA.

Can I File for a Military Divorce in Douglas County, GA?

Generally, a couple seeking a divorce in Georgia must be a resident of the state for a minimum of six months before filing for divorce. It is not necessary for both spouses to live in Georgia. Only one spouse must be a resident for six months for Georgia to have jurisdiction over a divorce proceeding.

However, the rules are slightly different for a military divorce. Military couples may not live in the same state. A military spouse may be stationed in another state or overseas. The couple could be residents of one state but are stationed together at a military base in Georgia.

Generally, the options for filing a military divorce are:

  • File for divorce in the state where the couple lives;
  • File for divorce in the state where the military spouse is stationed; or,
  • File for divorce in the state where the military spouse maintains legal residency.

If you live on a military base in Georgia, the state’s residency requirement increases from six months to 12 months to file for divorce. If you meet the residency requirement, you can file for divorce in the county of your residence.

The divorce petition must be served on your spouse. Your spouse has 30 days to respond to the divorce papers.

However, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) gives active military personnel the right to delay their response for up to 90 days if they need more time because of their military duties. A judge could grant the military spouse additional time depending on the circumstances of their service.

What Are the Grounds for a Military Divorce in Douglas County, GA?

The grounds for a military divorce are the same as the grounds for a civilian divorce in Georgia.

Georgia divorce laws provide for a no-fault divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. You do not need to prove any wrongdoing by your spouse to obtain a no-fault divorce. 

All you need to do is certify that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and you can obtain a military divorce even if your spouse does not want a divorce.

Georgia also grants divorces on fault grounds. The fault grounds for a Georgia military divorce are:

  • Adultery
  • Substance abuse
  • Pregnant by another man
  • Cruelty or abuse
  • Desertion or abandonment (deployment is not abandonment in a military divorce)
  • Tricked or forced into marriage
  • Impotence a spouse hid when the couple was married
  • Incest
  • Conviction of a crime that results in a prison sentence of more than two years
  • Insanity

When you file for divorce on fault grounds, you have the burden of proving that your spouse committed the “fault” grounds that resulted in the breakup of your marriage. Proving fault can be challenging and costly. Therefore, most individuals file for a military divorce on no-fault grounds.

Who Gets Custody of the Children in a Military Divorce in Douglas County, GA?

Regardless of the status of the parents, child custody is based on the best interests of the child. A judge considers various factors to determine if a custody agreement is in a child’s best interest. When parents cannot agree on custody terms, the judge uses these factors to set custody terms.

However, federal and state laws protect the rights of military parents. Parenting plans must provide for continued contact with military parents, even when they are deployed. A military parent can delegate visitation time to extended family members when they are deployed.

To further protect a deployed military parent, the law prohibits a judge from entering a final child custody order within 90 days of a parent’s return from deployment. The provision ensures the parent has time to prepare for a custody hearing after they return home.

Our Douglas County military divorce lawyers work with you to develop a parenting plan and custody agreement that benefits your children, protects your parental rights, and complies with state and federal laws.

How Is Child Support and Alimony Calculated in a Douglas County Military Divorce?

Military service does not exempt you from paying child support or alimony. Georgia uses standard child support guidelines to calculate child support payments. Furthermore, the same factors used to determine alimony apply to military divorces.

The difference in calculating child support and alimony deals with civilian pay versus military pay. A military member may receive several types of compensation and benefits. Some pay may not be included in child support calculations.

Generally, military pay used to calculate child support includes:

  • Base pay
  • Basic allowance for subsistence
  • Drill pay
  • Basic allowance for housing

If a judge determines alimony is warranted in a military divorce, the judge may order alimony according to state law. A spouse could receive temporary, periodic, lump sum, or permanent alimony payments in a Georgia military divorce.

Calculating alimony and child support payments in a military divorce can be complicated. As experienced Douglas County military divorce lawyers, we guide you through the process of determining the correct amount of child support and/or alimony payments after a military divorce.

How Is Property Divided in a Military Divorce in Douglas County, GA?

Georgia is an equitable distribution state for property division in a divorce. Therefore, marital assets are divided between the spouses “fairly.” However, “fair” does not automatically mean equal.

Property division in a military divorce follows many of the same rules as the division of assets in a civilian divorce. A significant difference is dividing military retirement.

States of jurisdiction to divide military retirement during a divorce pursuant to The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA). The law does not automatically give a spouse an interest in military retirement. Instead, it makes military retirement marital property subject to property division.

However, special rules might apply when dividing some types of military retirement benefits. Our Douglas County military divorce attorneys understand the applicable federal and state laws. We work to ensure you receive all the property you are entitled to receive by law during a military divorce.

Schedule a Consultation With Our Douglas County Military Divorce Lawyers

Being in the military should not prevent you from obtaining a fair divorce settlement. Our Douglas County military divorce attorneys fight to protect your parental rights, your child’s best interests, and your right to a fair division of marital assets. If alimony is justified, we’ll fight to obtain a fair amount for spousal support.

Contact our family law firm today at (470) 308-5409 to schedule a case review with one of our experienced Douglas County military divorce lawyers.

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