The Military Divorce Process: How Child Support and Custody are Determined

Divorce

When it comes to a military divorce, are child support and child custody determined differently? Become aware of what makes the military divorce process unique and how these two family law issues are handled.

SCRA and the Military Divorce Process

Members of the U.S. military have certain protections provided for them under federal law in all court actions, including the military divorce process, custody and child support matters. These protections are set out in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), established in 2003 and amended several times since. The SCRA expands and continues the rights of military members seeking a military divorce begun in the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 (SSCRA).  

The SCRA protects servicemembers from such things as excessive interest while on active duty, from default court judgments, foreclosures, seizure of property, termination of leases, and suspension of civil judicial proceedings (including military divorce and custody cases).

Determining Custody in the Military Divorce Process

In the case of a custody order, if the court takes any emergency action due to a service member’s absence, this order can be challenged by the servicemember upon notice and could be rescinded or revised or the proceeding stopped for a period of time until the party is available to appear in court.

A servicemember may also, within 90 days of leaving active duty, seek to have a judgment set aside and, in California, this could result in a new hearing and perhaps a different set of orders.  

Child Support in the Military Divorce Process

As with any other type of judicial proceeding, those involving child support are also covered under the SCRA. The major challenge a servicemember faces with child support while on active duty is their base pay is supplemented by housing pay (Basic Assistance for Housing, or BAH) and by subsistence pay (Basic Allowance for Subsistence, or BAS).

This can and does greatly increase the overall pay a servicemember receives and if they are on active duty away from the children, their visitation/custody time could be very limited and this will increase child support.  
Again, the SCRA protects servicemembers from default judgments and once they receive notice any such orders in the military divorce process can be changed or terminated.  

The Military Divorce Process in San Diego

The San Diego County Superior Court provides information about custody and visitation proceedings on sites such as here. If you are in the military on active duty or if you are a parent who shares custody with someone who is, you should do your research to find out how to proceed.

Your family law attorney is well-versed in the military divorce process, custody and child support cases as they appear so frequently in the San Diego area.

You should consult with an attorney because this area of law, covered by federal law but affecting state court proceedings, is rather complex and acting incorrectly could cause more trouble than it’s worth.  

Contact Us for Legal Assistance 

If you are a member of the military and seeking divorce, it is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in this area of practice. The team of attorneys at JWB Family Law are equipped to walk you through this process, including particulars related to military divorce.

JWB Family Law is proud to offer a discount for members of the U.S. military. Contact our office today to schedule your discreet consultation at our San Diego location.

Is Domestic Violence a Felony?

Yes, domestic violence can be a felony. A criminal case begins when someone reports an incident of domestic violence to law enforcement. If an arrest happens, criminal charges may be filed by the District Attorney. What is considered domestic violence? California...

How is Spousal Support Calculated?

In California, there are two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent (or long-term support).  Temporary support is support that is ordered before your final judgment of dissolution. Permanent or long-term support is ordered either at trial or through...

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in CA?

If you plan to file for a divorce in the state of California, you're probably wondering how long the divorce process will take to complete. The answer to that question is—it depends. Under California family law, a couple cannot be divorced until at least six months...

JWB Family Law Adds Anne B. Howard ESQ., as a Senior Associate Attorney

JWB Family Law is expanding its team to welcome Anne B. Howard, ESQ, as a Senior Associate Attorney. Anne brings extensive expertise in family law to the team, specializing in child support, paternity, asset, and property division, and divorce. “I was drawn to the...

Custody and Successful Co-Parenting During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in our daily lives. Schools are closed, parents are working from home, and some have lost their jobs. Life is not what it was just a few months ago. Children are now with parents all day—every day. Parents are now responsible...

How to Deal With Domestic Violence During COVID-19

There is a growing concern amongst professionals regarding a rise in domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the period from March 1 through April 25, 2020, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department logged 2,309 domestic-related calls. This is roughly a three...

JWB Family Law Continues to Serve Clients During COVID-19

Heightened anxiety and uncertainty in the world often result in significant family distress, including a surge in domestic violence incidents. As a family law practice, we need to show up for our clients now more than ever. For that reason, JWB Family Law is operating...

How Do I Change My Family Court Order and When Should I Do It?

When should you change your Family Court order?  When it no longer serves the needs of your family.   For example, if a custody order is entered when your baby girl is two years old, it may say she stays with each parent for 2 or 3 days and then trades back.  This is...

What is Family Court Services Mediation and Do I Have to Attend It?

If you are unhappy with your current custody plan, or need to create a new one, you may ask the court for assistance.  To do that, you will need to file a Request for Order with the local court. Immediately upon filing the Request, you will receive a date to attend...

How to Legally Obtain a Paternity Test

It happens.  Sometimes we do not know who the biological father of a child is.  It is important information. Paternity effects health issues, as well as the socioeconomic ones.   Enter the paternity test.  It is not like the old days of enormous expense, blood tests,...