Although many Californians who are going through divorce have to deal with similar legal issues, the facts usually dictate the approach to these matters. For example, those divorces that involve a member of the military may have to deal with additional property division issues, such as the division of a military pension. Even though these pensions are handled similarly to civilian pensions, there are some unique rules that apply.
One of these rules is what is known as the ten-year rule. Here, a former spouse who is entitled to a portion of a military member's pension can receive payment directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service so long as a decade's worth of marriage coincided with a decade's worth of military service. This may allow a former spouse to receive payment consistently and on-time, an issue that often arises when parties have to deal amongst themselves.
Pensions are not the only benefits that may available to a former spouse after divorce. If the marriage lasted for at least 20 years, the military member served for at least 20 years, and the marriage and military service overlapped for at least 20 years, then a former spouse may be able to receive full medical benefits as well as commissary privileges.
There are a number of issues that are unique to military divorce. In addition to those discussed above, military service members are protected from divorce proceedings while they are on active duty, which is hoped to free them to focus on their service to the military. These types of divorces need to be handled with care, as there can be a lot on the line. Therefore, if you are dealing with divorce issues like property division, child custody, child support, or alimony, then you may want to speak with one a legal advocate who understands what is at stake.