North Carolina and South Carolina Military Divorce Attorneys
While a military divorce and a regular divorce both involve the ending of a marriage, military divorces have different rules and requirements due to service member and spouse benefits. If you or your spouse serve in any military branch — Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, or Coast Guard — and are moving toward a military divorce in North or South Carolina, Collins Family & Elder Law Group is here to help.
Read on to discover what you need to know about this process and how our military divorce attorneys can guide you through it.
Things to Know Before Filing for Military Divorce
Several factors of military divorce differ from civilian divorce, so it’s vital that you understand what to expect before moving forward.
First, military divorce cannot proceed without the service member's consent. This rule is part of the Service Members Civil Relief Act and aims to protect military members from being served with divorce documents when they can’t attend any divorce proceedings. Once the service member consents to the divorce and signs an affidavit of consent, proceedings can move forward. However, as part of the Civil Relief Act, service members can request a 90-day stay (or pause) on the divorce until they can participate in the proceedings.
Next, asset division is also more challenging during a military divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) was created to ensure that some military spouse divorce entitlements are protected for the former spouse of a military member. Under this act, the former spouse may be eligible for a few military divorce benefits, including:
- A portion of the service member’s disposable military retired pay
- Some access to healthcare at military treatment facilities
- Some access to military exchanges and commissaries
- Benefits in the event of spousal or child abuse
Finally, there are a few last things to know before filing for a military divorce in North or South Carolina.
- File in the correct state (where the service member or spouse has legal residency)
- Know your rights (as the service member or spouse)
- Work with qualified military divorce attorneys to help you through the entire process
How to File for Separation in North and South Carolina
For a military divorce in North or South Carolina, you do not need to file for separation. This is because neither state requires formal documentation, which can make it easier to file for divorce. However, both states have separation requirements, including living in separate homes for one year with at least one spouse intending the separation to be permanent. If the service member is applying for divorce, they only have to be stationed in North or South Carolina for six months before filing.
Why Is It So Important to Have a Military Divorce Lawyer?
Since military divorces have different complexities than regular divorces, it’s crucial to hire knowledgeable and experienced military divorce attorneys to help you navigate the intricacies of the process. Additionally, a divorce attorney specializing in military divorce can help you understand military benefits, calculate retirement pay, and ensure fair property division, among other things.
Is It Better to Settle a Military Divorce Through Mediation?
If you and your spouse approach the divorce in a civil manner, you may be able to settle your military divorce matters through mediation. This is when both parties meet with a mediator to finalize the details of the divorce without having to fight it out in court. Mediation may not be possible if the service member and spouse are in different states, though there may be options for virtual mediation if available.
Is an Uncontested Military Divorce in North Carolina or South Carolina Right for You?
An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree on all main aspects of the divorce, including custody, child support, and asset division, like those surrounding military divorce benefits such as retirement pay and medical benefits. If this sounds like the situation you and your spouse are facing, an uncontested divorce could simplify the process for all parties involved.
Move Forward in Life With a Military Divorce Lawyer in North or South Carolina
At Collins Family & Elder Law Group, our military divorce attorneys are here to help you through the emotional divorce process. However, we don’t just stop there. We offer client concierge services to help you move on and get your life back on track after a divorce. Whether you’re looking for therapy recommendations, grief groups, financial advisors, or anything else to help you move forward, we have dedicated and friendly staff who can help you find what you need.
Are you ready to pursue a military divorce in North or South Carolina? We’re ready to answer any questions you may have to help you feel prepared to face this challenging time. Contact us today.