Handling a Military Divorce in Colorado
While divorce is difficult and painful for everyone, those who have served in the military face a particularly challenging process. Due to the nature of their service, military personnel have various protections from the Federal Government that can complicate a divorce. For instance, service members are often relocated from place to place and also spend extended periods of time away from their legal residency. This makes it difficult to determine the jurisdiction of your military divorce.
Other complications that can arise during a military divorce include:
- The distribution of marital property including retirements and pensions from the military
- Child custody and visitation
- ID cards as well as military benefits for the spouse
Since these issues are unique to a military divorce, it’s essential that you hire an attorney who is familiar with Colorado laws concerning divorces where one spouse is a current or former service member. At Mike Hulen, PC, our experienced attorneys are familiar with mitigating the complexities of military divorce
How Military Retirement Pay and Pension is Calculated
In the state of Colorado, one of the most common disputes in military divorces is how the property and military benefits will be divided. Depending on the length of the marriage, the spouse can be entitled to up to 50 percent of military pensions. In order for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to direct some of the retirement payments towards the other spouse, the two must have been married for a minimum of 10 years with 10 of those years coinciding with military service.
For instance, if a couple were married for 14 years and the husband served in the military for 7 of those years, the wife wouldn’t qualify for the Department of Defense to pay her directly. While they were married for over 10 years, they didn’t meet the requirement for 10 of those years overlapping with military service – only 7 years did.
If the spouse is indeed entitled to a share of the pension, the amount will not exceed 50 percent as determined by the Department of Defense. Three methods to determine the exact compensation amount are:
- Reserve Jurisdiction
- Net Present Value
- Deferred Distribution
Jurisdiction in a Military Divorce
Because military service members stationed in Colorado are relocated so often, it becomes difficult to establish a jurisdiction. Since every state has different laws and standards, it is common for both spouses to fight for a jurisdiction they believe will be more partial to their situation.
Fortunately, military divorce attorneys in Colorado not only understand the unique challenges that military personnel and their spouses face, but also know how to fight for the best interests of all parties involved. Contact our trusted Colorado family law attorneys at (303) 932-8666.