Military servicemembers who are married and/or have children face the same issues as anyone else when there is a divorce, child custody or child support case. However, they face special circumstances that are unique to those who serve. They sacrifice a great deal to carry out military duties, as do their families. Military family members are often separated from each other for significant periods of time and do not necessarily know when or for how long the servicemember(s) will be home.
Unlike most family law cases, which are controlled by state law, military families face federal laws too. Jurisdiction is particularly important to them because those federal laws determine which state has the right to hear particular types of cases. When a service member is stationed outside of the US, yet another layer of complication is added when a lawsuit is filed. State laws have numerous special rights/privileges too. For example, deployed parents have special state laws for child custody. There are special military benefits available to the member, as well as his or her family members, spouse or former spouse. Those benefits are controlled by federal law, to which state law must yield.
Servicemembers relocate frequently, sometimes with their families and sometimes without them. We understand the difficulties service members face. If you are deployed, overseas, or otherwise not available to work with your attorney in person, we are prepared to make accommodations as best we can. Communication between a service member and an attorney can get complicated when telephone reception is limited, military mail is slow and/or internet connection is limited. Planning for this at the early stages of the case is helpful. We offer online payment of legal fees by credit card through our web site so payment does not require phone calls or mail.
♦ Ms. Edwards is a VA Accredited Attorney.
♦ She is a volunteer attorney in ABA military pro bono project programs.
♦ See our military links of interest.
♦ Abuse of Veterans in Nursing Homes (from the Nursing Home Abuse Guide)