National divorce rates for military couples are higher than the rate of divorce for the rest of the population. Pennsylvania military couples who have decided to divorce or are considering filing for divorce also have a unique set of concerns because of regulations placed upon them via their position. One major concern is the military pension. In today’s blog your Western Pennsylvania Military Divorce Lawyers explain the military pension and provide some guidance on its role in a divorce.
As a member of the military or a spouse of a military serviceperson you have certain rights and obligations. These rights and obligations often come into play during the process of a divorce. For that reason it is extremely important for military personnel or the spouse of military personnel, who is going through a Pennsylvania divorce, to understand their finances, financial rights, and to have proper representation throughout a divorce action.
Besides the usual process of equitable distribution, military divorces included the added component of the military pension. So why are military pensions so much more vulnerable than other pensions? Well under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), which governs how retirement benefits will be distributed upon divorce, a former spouse may be entitled to half of the amount generated over the course of the marriage.
So how do you protect yourself from Pennsylvania divorce proceedings if you’re in the military? There are many laws protecting those in the military from the divorce procedure in Pennsylvania. These laws mainly help to protect someone who hasn’t responded to a divorce complaint–they prohibit a divorce to go through without the active military individual knowing about it.
Additionally, under Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, 50 UCS Section 521 and with the approval of Pennsylvania courts, the entire divorce may be deferred until the end of the individual’s tour. Of course, the individual who is serving abroad or in another state may waive this right if they want to go through with the divorce.
If you are facing a military divorce, contact our Pennsylvania Military Divorce Lawyers. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!