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California Military Divorce Lawyer

Assisting Service Personnel with Divorce in California

Chavis Law Firm represents enlisted and retired military members, as well as civilians seeking a divorce from a member of the military. We understand both the service member's needs and the dependent's concerns. Military divorces are inherently more complex because they involve both Federal laws regulating military benefits as well as Californian property laws.

Military Benefits

The Federal government has enacted the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) which strictly controls benefits such as health insurance, commissary, exchange and other on-base privileges. The USFSPA also regulates division of military pensions, including waivers, military survivor benefit plan coverage (SBP), military retirement and disability pay, and other pension related property divisions.

Military Retirement

Chavis Law Firm also assists with the division of Thrift Savings Plan, Domestic Relations Orders, and Direct Retirement Payments from the Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS).

Rights and benefits under USFSPA become more complex when the marriage is twenty years or more. A former spouse who was married to the military member for at least twenty years may qualify for the 20/20/20 Spouse Rule (full benefits), 20/20/15 (transitional benefits), or the 20/20/10 Rule (full benefits in special circumstances).

Military Family Support

Each branch of the military has regulations requiring its members to support former spouses and children upon separation—and this is without a court order. Court intervention is also available once an action is filed. At Chavis Law Firm we know how to break down a military paycheck, review the taxable and nontaxable portions, and advocate the best interests of our clients. Specifically, we are experienced in interpreting military pay grades, Leave and Earnings Statements (LES), Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and other military pay differentials for purposes of support.

Service Members Civil Relief Act

The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA), provides enlisted and deployed members being sued in a family law matter with relief against a default judgment. The SCRA applies to all judicial proceedings and to administrative agencies and covers active duty service members, reservists, and members of the National Guard. It does not, however, protect service members in criminal cases.

Chavis Law Firm can help members of the military request a Stay of Proceedings under SCRA to defer the matter until you have returned to the United States. If you do not want the divorce or other proceeding delayed, we are able to handle your Court appearances while you are stationed overseas.

We are also well suited to represent civilian spouses in prohibiting a service member from using the SCRA when not qualified to do so.

Whether in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, or National Guard, contact us and we will assist you whether you are stationed in the United States or abroad. Our office is able to represent all your legal matters, through email, fax and telephone, without your ever appearing in a California courtroom.

Folsom Divorce Lawyer
What to bring on your first appointment
Will questionnaire
income/expense declaration
schedule of assets and debts
Notice regarding healthcare responsibilities


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