MILITARY DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
The procedure for divorcing a military spouse in California is the same as the procedure followed by civilian residents. Once the residency requirements have been met the action may be filed in the California county where you or your spouse reside. If you’ve been a resident of California for six months and a county resident for three months, you can file for divorce in California by filing a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” with the county superior court. Your military spouse does not have to be in the state when you file. California law, however, requires that the non-filing spouse is notified of the proceedings regardless of where he is stationed.
MILITARY SPOUSAL SUPPORT
A military spouse on active duty can be sued for spousal support because like child support, military service does not exempt a person from spousal support.
However, support disputes between spouses may be affected by the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which protects an active duty member of the armed forces from civil suit and a trial court can stay the litigation if a spouse’s military service would have a material effect on his or her ability to defend the litigation – in this case, the spousal support action.
The military has spousal support guidelines. These guidelines specify that the member of the military must provide support to dependents in an amount equal to his or her full housing for allowance at what is called the “with dependent” rate. These interim support guidelines are used as a temporary support calculation pending a court order and an allotment.
The military housing allowance, now called the Basic Allowance for Housing (or BAH), is nontaxable allowance paid to service members who do not live in government housing. Service members also receive a BAH if they are separated from their immediate family members.
When a couple is not legally separated, the military spouse is required to support his or her dependents – the spouse and children. For support calculations, the BAH is included with the income and expenses declared by the service member.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: CONTACT 619-624-3333.
(This form is confidential)