Military Divorce in Pennsylvania
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While the divorce process is the same for military spouses as for everyone else, there are a few factors that will uniquely affect support calculations, child custody, pension, and the filing location. Fortunately, a Pittsburgh military divorce attorney from Rosen Family Law Group can help you work through these different issues. With over 25 years of experience, you can be confident in our firm's ability to quickly and effectively work through the issues related to military divorce law.
These may include:
- Filing Location - If one spouse is stationed at a separate place from his or her family, then you may be wondering where to file for your divorce. To approve your divorce, the court must have jurisdiction over both you and your spouse. Spouses can file in a state that they mutually agree to, or a state in which the military spouse has residency.
- Child and Spousal Support - Service members are required to provide support for both their spouse and their children. The Department of Defense requires strict compliance with support, or else there are harsh punishments for the military spouse. (More information about child support and spousal support.)
- Custody and Visitation - Since the military spouse is subject to frequent movement and possible deployment, custody and visitation rights can be a challenging issue. Usually, the non-military spouse is given custody of the child and the military spouse gets visitation rights. If the military spouse does have sole custody, however, then they must name a caregiver in case they are deployed. (More information about child custody and visitation.)
- Pension and Disability - Since the military is an individual's employer, any pension or disability that is obtained can be subject to division. A spouse, however, is not automatically entitled to pension or disability.
These matters and others are especially unique to a military divorce. Service members should thoroughly research military divorce and enlist the help of a legal professional at our firm before making any decisions.
How to Calculate Child Support for a Military Divorce
Because the military provides a base salary, a housing allowance and differentials for increased responsibility, a service member's income can be difficult to calculate. The housing allowance especially complicates things, as it is calculated using number of family members, pay grade, and location. Calculation begins by using Pennsylvania's child support laws.
Normally, spouses would use a tax-return to calculate the amount of child support that a spouse should owe. Military spouses can't use a tax-return, however, because housing and differentials won't be included as they are not taxable. Instead of a tax-return, you can use the Leave and Earnings Statement, which includes all payment information. If you find yourself unable to get access income information, then you can submit a Freedom of Information Act request to the military.
Assistance from an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Military divorces can be extremely complicated, so make sure you get the support you need from a Pittsburgh divorce lawyer at our firm. We are committed to the best interests of our clients throughout the entirety of the case. While we encourage our clients to pursue amicable settlements, our lawyer will not hesitate to pursue litigation if necessary.
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