Syracuse Attorney Guides Clients Through Military Divorce Cases
Accomplished New York lawyer assists service members and their spouses
Going through a divorce is hard in any circumstance, but divorcing as a member of a military family comes with unique challenges. At Bombardo Law Office, P.C. in Syracuse, I utilize more than 27 years of experience in New York family law and divorce law, as well as my experience serving in the United States Marine Corps, to advocate on behalf of clients serving in our armed forces and their spouses. Whether you or your partner is in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, I will provide strategic representation to help you pursue favorable terms relating to property division, military benefits, parenting time agreements and financial support.
Experienced counselor helps clients with unique aspects of military divorce
While a military divorce proceeds in largely the same way as a civilian divorce, there are specialized issues that must be considered and addressed during the split. These include:
- Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) — SCRA is a federal law that prevents a married person from filing for divorce while his or her spouse is on active duty deployment. SCRA also allows legal timelines to be extended for servicemembers on active duty, so certain hearings and judgments can be postponed until the servicemember can participate with his or her full attention.
- State of residence — Whereas most people who wish to file for divorce in New York must meet certain residency requirements, the state recognizes that these requirements can be a burden for military families who move frequently. You may file for divorce in New York as long as you or your spouse is stationed at a military facility within the state. You may also file for divorce in New York if you or your spouse are not stationed at a base in the state but were married in New York and have lived here at least one year; you and your spouse are both legal residents of New York; or either spouse has lived in New York for at least two years.
- Child custody — Sharing parenting time can be complicated when one parent is deployed for long periods. If the military parent gains sole custody, he or she may need to arrange for another adult to serve as the child’s guardian during times of deployment.
If you or your spouse is an active member of the armed forces and your marriage is ending, a Central New York divorce lawyer can answer your questions about how military status may affect matters such as child custody, spousal support and the marriage dissolution timeline. I proudly strive to protect the interests of clients from military families.
How military benefits are divided during a divorce
In New York, a couple’s marital assets are split up in accordance with the state’s equitable distribution rules. In simplified terms, this means that property is divided in a manner that is deemed to be fair to both sides. Military families are also subject to equitable distribution. The only factor that makes military cases slightly more complicated is that there are federal regulations governing how military benefits are to be divided. Most importantly, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) can have a significant impact on these types of cases. Under the USFSPA, a military spouse may be entitled to have a portion of their former partner's military pension benefits sent straight to them instead of routing those benefits through their former partner. Though, a marriage must have lasted for at least one decade for a military spouse to qualify for protection under the USFSPA.