Utah Divorce Code 30-3-2

Utah Divorce Code 30-3-2

Utah Divorce Code 30-3-2 – Right of Husband To Divorce. The husband may in all cases obtain a divorce from his wife for the same causes and in the same manner as the wife may obtain a divorce from her husband.

What Are Your Rights to the House in a Divorce

Divorce can leave a man single and without a home to call his own. State laws vary and each divorce case is unique in the eyes of the court. The circumstances surrounding the divorce play a part in deciding what is done with the assets of the marriage. Even if the man loses the right to live in the home, he may still be entitled to a part of the equity, including properties that were purchased by his wife before the marriage.

Marital Property

All property obtained during the course of the marriage by either the husband or the wife is considered to be shared in common by both spouses regardless of whether the state you were married in is an equitable distribution or a property earned state. The amount of money that the man spends on a property during the time of the marriage will determine how much, if any, of the home equity he is entitled to even if the property is in his wife’s name and not his. The only exception to the rule would be if the wife purchased the property using the proceeds that she acquired before the marriage.

Property Owned Before Marriage

Even in a situation where the wife had property before the date of the marriage, the husband may still have a share of the equity if mortgage payments or home improvements were funded by money earned during the marriage. Many states will provide the husband with one-half of the increased value of the home in these situations but, again, this depends on which state you are in.

Living Rights

The circumstances surrounding the divorce have much to do with who gets to live in the home. If the home belonged to the wife before the marriage, most likely she will be allowed to continue living in it. If the man is the one who initiated the divorce, or if she left you as the result of bad behavior on your part, it is most likely that you will lose possession of the house. In addition, you may even be required to make the mortgage payments even though it is no longer your place of residence.

Home Equity Payment

Regardless of who has temporary possession of the home, sooner or later the equity will need to be distributed per the courts instructions. This could mean that either the husband or the wife will need to buy out the share of their spouse or the property must be sold in order for each to receive their portion of the cash. Sometimes in a buyout situation, other marital property or debt can be used instead of actual cash in order to meet the requirements of the divorce agreement.

Jurisdiction

The English courts can dissolve foreign marriages so long as there is an appropriate connection. It may be that you and your spouse have connections with more than one country and that you have the option to get divorced here or abroad. Choosing the right country to get divorced in is important as it can have a big impact on how the marital finances are shared. If you think your spouse intends to start divorce proceedings in another country, you should seek family law advice urgently as you may wish to start divorce proceedings. This is known as a petition race.

Grounds for Divorce

The only ground (reason) for divorce is that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. Irretrievably means the marriage has broken down permanently and cannot be fixed. To prove that your marriage has broken down irretrievably, you must state one of five facts in your divorce petition:

• Adultery: Your husband has committed adultery with another woman or your wife has committed adultery with a man. Adultery is sexual intercourse between a married person and a person of the opposite sex who is not their spouse. If your husband or wife admits to adultery and agrees to the divorce proceedings, the divorce is likely to be accepted by the court. If your spouse does not admit to committing adultery you will need to provide the court with evidence of the adultery. In addition to the adultery, you must also prove that you find it intolerable to live with your spouse, either because of the adultery or because of some other behavior. Intolerable means that you cannot bear to be in the marriage any longer. If you continue to live with your husband or wife for 6 months after you find out about their adultery, then you cannot use that incident of adultery as the reason to divorce. You have the option to name the person who committed adultery with your husband or wife in your divorce petition (the “co-respondent”). However, if you do so you will have to send the divorce papers to that person as well as to your spouse. This will cause additional expense and delay if they do not co-operate.

• Unreasonable Behavior: your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them. Unreasonable behavior can include a wide range of behavior from domestic violence to withholding love and affection. Generally you will need to set out 4 or 5 examples of your spouse’s behavior. It may be helpful to include the first, the worst and the most recent incident of the unreasonable behavior during the marriage. If you continue to live as a couple for 6 months after the last incident of unreasonable behavior, it may be harder to prove to the court that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with your spouse.

• Desertion: Your husband or wife has deserted you for at least two years. You need to show that your spouse left you in order to end your relationship, without your agreement and without a good reason, for at least two years. This is difficult to prove so it is very unusual to use this fact.

• Two years separation with consent: You and your spouse have been separated for a continuous period of two years and you both agree to the divorce. You need not necessarily have lived in separate homes but you need to have had separate lives, for example, eating and doing domestic chores separately and sleeping in different rooms. Your spouse must agree to the divorce on the basis that you have been separated for a continuous period of two years. It is a good idea to check whether your spouse will agree before sending your divorce petition to the court.

• Five years separation: You and your spouse have been separated for a continuous period of five years. If you have been separated for 5 years you are entitled to apply for divorce, even if your spouse does not consent. Your spouse can only oppose the divorce if they can argue that ending the marriage would result in serious financial or other hardship.

Responding to a Divorce Petition

Your spouse will be required to sign and return and Acknowledgement of Service form to the court, in order to show that he or she has received the petition. This must normally reach the court within eight days, starting on the day after they receive the divorce papers, although time limits will be longer if your spouse is being served outside the country. The Acknowledgement of Service form allows your spouse to say whether or not they agree with the contents of the divorce papers and whether they wish to defend the divorce. Defended divorces are rare because if one person wants a divorce, that is usually a sign that the marriage has broken down. Consenting to a divorce will not normally affect a person’s rights in terms of finances or the children. The child arrangements and finances may need to be resolved, but it is unlikely to matter who divorced whom or what reason was given in the petition. A defended divorce can also cost a lot of money, as a court hearing will normally be listed, which you may have to attend. If your spouse defends your divorce petition, you should seek legal advice.

If your husband has told you that he has received the divorce papers but he refuses to send the Acknowledgement of Service form to the court, you can apply to the court to make an order of deemed service. You must prove to the court that your spouse has received the divorce papers. If the court is satisfied that your spouse has received the papers, it can make an order that your spouse was served on a particular date. The court needs your spouse’s address in order to serve the divorce papers on them. If you have lost contact with your spouse and do not know where they live or work you may be able to use an alternative method of service. Before requesting an alternative method of service from the court, it is important that you have made every effort to find out where your spouse lives from their family, friends, employer and anyone else who knows them. If you still cannot trace them you can apply to the court for substituted service. This normally means sending the documents to a different address, such as a friend or family member you know he is close to, or his work address, or email or even Facebook. If, in spite of trying the above, you simply cannot trace your spouse, you can apply to a district judge for an order dispensing with service. If the judge is satisfied that you have done everything you can to try and find your spouse, the judge can make an order that the divorce can proceed without the divorce papers being served on them.

How long will it take?

Even the most straightforward divorce can take between 4 and 6 months and it is often advisable to postpone applying for decree absolute until any financial proceedings have concluded as it can affect your rights to live in the family home, pensions, or other issues relating to joint finances. If your spouse is uncooperative of there are complications resolving the finances, the divorce could take much longer. There is a waiting time in Utah of 30 days for a divorce to enter.

My home rights

A person has a right to live in a property if it is their matrimonial home. This means that even if your spouse owns the property in their sole name, you have the right to live there until your marriage ends. This is called matrimonial home rights. If your home is in your spouse’s sole name the divorce may end your right to live there so it is important to seek legal advice.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Divorce Agreement Enforcement Attorney

Divorce Agreement Enforcement Attorney

No two divorces are exactly indistinguishable. Along these lines, no two divorce understandings will be indistinguishable either. Be that as it may, there are a bunch of managing principals which your Bergen County divorce understanding lawyers will use to help guarantee that your divorce or settlement understandings hold lawful water. There are two basic reasons that divorce settlement understandings may not be enforceable: Indefensible Settlement Agreement Terms – It is essential to comprehend that divorce settlement understandings are not quite the same as divorce orders. While your divorce settlement understanding can in principle state truly anything and the two gatherings can agree to sign, that doesn’t imply that a New Jersey Superior Court judge will acknowledge the provisions of your understanding. A typical model may be kid bolster terms which are settled upon by guardians, however, don’t serve the eventual benefits of the youngster or kids. And Unlawful system – For a divorce settlement consent to be completely enforceable, it must be marked under lawful conditions and ought to likewise be recorded as well as joined into the conventional divorce order. To get familiar with the points of interest of New Jersey divorce filings, call our office today to talk with a Bergen County divorce understanding lawyer.

Past explicit contemplations are given to divorce desk work, your Paramus partition and divorce settlement understanding attorneys ought to have the option to distinguish any potential warnings with regards to any sort of lawful contract. According to both government and New Jersey guidelines, any of the accompanying infractions might prompt your conjugal understanding being adjusted or inside and out excused in a court of law: Unconscionable Terms – amazingly out of line, crooked, or exploitative terms are not considered lawfully enforceable. An outrageous model may be spouses consenting to provision installments which are 80% of the payor’s gross pay. Deceitful Activity by either party – financial or different types of misrepresentation which materially affected the particulars of your settlement understanding may render the contract invalid and void. This regularly incorporates concealing financial resources or different types of cash control. And Shared Error – a misconception can impact your divorce settlement understanding as a purposeful control. It’s a given that slip-ups are not part of anybody’s arrangement, yet underlines the significance of working with an accomplished and qualified divorce lawyer while going to an understanding. The rundown of potential difficulties goes on and incorporates intimidation or understanding under pressure, undue impact, mental debilitation, insufficient thought, and then some. The gathering who is trying to hold the other party in disdain will bear the weight of confirmation, which implies that they should introduce proof to the court that is sufficient for the court to find that the other party was in stiff-necked and purposeful infringement of the court request. This implies they have to show that the other party knew about the court request and comprehended its terms, which is commonly simple to do in a divorce continuing.

Be that as it may, they should likewise show that the gathering who is being held infringing upon the court request could consent to the request, however, purposefully took actions disregarding that request and that they had nothing worth mentioning explanations behind not agreeing. In doing as such, they can start the procedure of DC divorce understanding authorization. In this way, a model may be if somebody feels that their previous spouse is abusing a divorce order since they are not keeping the custodial calendar or they are not permitting them to see the youngsters when that the divorce order expresses that they have the appearance rights. An individual should demonstrate that their spouse comprehended that they were unyieldingly disregarding that court request and that they had no rhyme or reason to deny somebody the correct that they are qualified for under the court request. If they come to court and they have a sensible clarification of why that date probably won’t have turned out, at that point, it is improbable that a finding of scorn will be requested. Another model would be more than once neglecting to pay kid support. That is generally bound to bring about a scorn request being entered against the non-paying spouse, as the courts don’t look compassionate on rehashed clarifications concerning why one was not ready to make their kid bolster installment.

An attorney can be useful as regularly the risk of going to court is sufficient to get consistence from a previous spouse and consistency with the divorce order is consistently a definitive objective, which is the reason the court will allow them to redress their infringement of the court request before holding them in hatred. Having a lawyer who can give you data about the DC divorce understanding authorization procedure, and who can investigate the circumstance to decide if going to court is to your greatest advantage can empower you to squeeze your spouse under the steady gaze of actually going to court. In doing as such, you and your attorney can cooperate to get them to comply with the particulars of the divorce order without sitting around and assets. Upholding a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) must be finished by recording a conventional solicitation or movement (lawful administrative work) with the court. You should show the court how your ex-spouse neglected to follow the provisions of the understanding. There are numerous reasons you may need to request that the court help you with authorizing your understanding. An MSA is an authoritative archive that explains the particulars of divorce and gives a structure to the connection between previous spouses after the divorce. In New Jersey, for instance, MSAs are likewise once in a while called Property Settlement Agreements (a fairly obsolete term that is currently disfavored). While numerous couples have just conjugal property and obligations to consider, numerous others, especially those with minor kids, need a progressively complete understanding. Different occasions, the particulars of an understanding are placed in a “Request” or “Assent Order” that acts in a similar way spreading out the rights and liabilities of each gathering. Now and again one gathering doesn’t hold fast to the provisions of an MSA, Order, Consent Order, or Agreement, and defaults on their commitment. The non-defaulting party at that point is compelled to “authorize” the details of the understanding and additionally Order that spreads out the commitment. Significantly, one incorporates all terms and understandings made with your previous spouse that you need a court to have the option to authorize in your composed MSA. Make the terms as explicit as conceivable to forestall contest or suit later on.

If you are coexisting with your spouse, it tends to be enticing to forget about certain things to be settled later, yet it isn’t prudent as the occasions change and gatherings emotions change both in the positive and the negative. A court won’t implement any terms that you don’t fuse into your consented to the arrangement. Your understanding ought to likewise incorporate a technique for haggling any future contradictions and plan for every conceivable event. When marked, the last MSA is official between the gatherings. It is commonly additionally joined into the last pronouncement of divorce with the goal that it gets as enforceable as some other court request. It might likewise be blended or in part converged with the divorce order, which influences enforceability under contract law. A requirement movement when brought will look to uphold the terms as composed and should be possible ordinarily whenever fused into a Judgment of Divorce by basically recording a “Notice of Motion” with the Court and an “Affirmation” clarifying your position. As a rule, these kinds of movements are discarded after oral contentions and without a “hearing” or “declaration” of the gatherings. Family issues are delicate and regularly bring in heated arguments. This can generally be dodged by looking for legitimate assistance and mastery. Another favorable position to looking for an unbiased lawful expert is that family law is mind-boggling. There are numerous motivations to work with a learned and experienced family lawyer, for example, the Divorce Lawyer in Utah that local people trust. Here are some of the most widely recognized reasons why somebody may employ a divorce lawyer: Family legitimate issues are guided by the state and once in a while area laws. These laws can contrast starting with one state and district then onto the next.

What is law in Idaho may not be the same in Utah? Considering this, you have to work with a family lawyer who is authorized to practice law in your state. Such a lawyer ought to have a comprehension of the procedures and rules that may influence your case. Neighborhood guidelines may likewise demand intercession before prosecuting the family question. A family lawyer who prosecutes in a neighborhood court can guarantee that you adhere to both state and district rules. Regardless of whether you’re on acceptable standing now, the divorce procedure can make speedy adversaries of any couple or prospective ex-couple. On the off chance that if that asperity is impermanent, the impacts of the divorce continuing will be long haul or lasting. On the off chance that your spouse procures an attorney and you don’t, you’re probably going to get the worst part of the deal. What’s more, however, your spouse may not play filthy deceives, you can’t be guaranteed that their lawyer will play similarly as pleasant. Ensure your legitimate rights by enlisting a learned and experienced divorce lawyer. When petitioning for legal separation, you have to work out an authority concurrence with your spouse. You will likewise need to partition your common resources. That is most likely not all. You may likewise need to work out subtleties, for example, where the children will go to class, retirement plans, medical coverage, and legacy. A typical wellspring of the dispute is the house. Much of the time, one gathering needs to keep the house while the different demands selling as opposed to purchasing out the other spouse. When confronting divorce, you might not have the premonition to consider every one of these issues. A lawyer can assist you with envisioning and planning for the predictable and unforeseeable issues you may confront. This can assist you with arriving at a progressively satisfactory resolution after the divorce procedure and stay away from confusion down the line. Divorce is regularly a passionate and upsetting procedure. Given the fact that you are sincerely put resources into the occasions and the result, you may not be in a situation to stay objective. The vast majority likewise tragically drag their children into the procedure. A family lawyer can assist you with seeing the master plan and show up at a reasonable result for everybody. Divorce and other family debates can have sweeping results. Careful understanding should address the changing needs of the children.

As children develop, so do their requirements. A family lawyer can regularly envision future issues and build up a procedure that remembers your youngsters’ eventual benefits. The divorce procedure is bound by laws and good rules. These laws are dependent upon ordinary changes and corrections. It is ideal to talk with a family lawyer to comprehend your lawful choices. Along these lines, you can settle on an educated choice and get the assistance you need.

Due to the very strong national policy to help the wellbeing, security and government assistance of kids, the authorization of youngster bolster orders is one of a kind. All states have laws that explicitly address the inability to pay youngster backing, and judges don’t care for it when guardians neglect to make court-requested kid bolster installments. If your ex has quit paying kid support, you have a couple of various choices. You can return to the divorce court that gave the first kid bolster to arrange and request that an appointed authority implement the request and direct your spouse to pay. The appointed authority can give an assortment of requests to urge your spouse to pay and can likewise hold your ex in disdain for the inability to pay – this can bring about fines or even prison time. On the other hand, you can request help from your neighborhood Office of Recovery Services (“ORS”) office. You just carry your kid bolster request with you to the nearby ORS office and request that they open a case against your ex.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Divorce Process

A divorce starts with a divorce petition. The petition is written by one spouse (the petitioner) and served on the other spouse. The petition is then filed in a state court in the county where one of the spouses resides. It does not matter where the marriage occurred. The petition includes important information regarding the marriage. It names the husband, wife and any children and states if there is any separate property or community property, child custody, child support, and alimony or spousal support.

Divorce Process

Serving the Divorce Petition

The petition (or the divorce papers) must be served on the other spouse. This phase of the process is called “service of process.” If both spouses agree to the divorce, the other spouse only needs to sign an acknowledgement of the receipt of service. However, if the other spouse refuses to sign or is difficult to locate, you can hire a professional process server to personally deliver the papers.

Completing service of process starts the clock running on your state’s waiting period. It also sets automatic restraining orders on the spouses and helps establish the date of separation. At this point, the spouses are not permitted to take any children out of state, sell any property, borrow against property, or borrow or sell insurance held for the other spouse.

Divorce Petition Response

The other spouse is known as the “respondent.” Although it’s not required, the respondent can file a response to the petition saying he or she agrees. Filing a response shows both parties agree to the divorce. This makes it more likely the case will proceed without a court hearing, which could delay the process and cost more. Generally, if a response is not filed within 30 days, the petitioner can request that a default be entered by the court. The responding spouse can also use the response to disagree with information presented in the petition.

Final Steps of a Divorce

Both spouses are required to disclose information regarding their assets, liabilities, income and expenses. If the divorce is uncontested and the spouses can agree on the terms of the divorce, there is only a bit more paperwork to file. Once the court enters the judgment, the divorce is final. However, the marriage is not formally dissolved and the spouses cannot remarry until the end of the state’s waiting period. If there are disputes that cannot be resolved, court hearings and maybe even a trial will be required.

Legal Requirements for Divorce

Under most state laws, a divorce (or “dissolution”) action must be filed and decided in court. All states have a “no-fault divorce” policy. In other words, the courts are not concerned with which spouse was guilty of marital misconduct.

The following legal requirements are necessary to file for divorce in most states:

  1. Residency: The spouse filing for divorce must have resided in the state and county for a certain period. Six months is a common state requirement, and three months is typical at the county level.
  2. Waiting Period: Most states have a mandatory waiting period from the filing to the finalization of a divorce. In other words, you cannot file and finalize a divorce on the same day. The average waiting period is 6 months but can be anywhere from 0 to 12 months. After the waiting period, the divorce is finalized and both parties are free to remarry.
  3. Legal Grounds: States generally recognize two legal grounds for divorce: (1) irreconcilable differences and (2) separation. “Irreconcilable differences” simply means there are marital difficulties that cannot be reconciled and have led to the permanent breakdown of the marriage.
  4. Jurisdictional Requirement: An action for divorce must be filed with the proper court. The appropriate court is typically in the county where either the wife or husband has resided for at least 3-6 months prior to filing for divorce.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Rights of Divorced Spouses in the Military

Divorce can be a confusing, complicated, and stressful time for military couples. However, gaining a general understanding of how this process works, while seeking to identify the specific issues that may apply in your case, can greatly reduce the time, expense, and emotional strain of a divorce. While you will largely follow the same process and procedures as a civilian couple when filing for divorce, there are unique legal issues which may apply result of military service. These issues may include determining the custody of children, calculating child and spousal support, and determining if any post-divorce benefits apply.

Rights of Divorced Spouses in the Military

While divorce is largely governed by state law and local procedures, depending on where you file, there are certain federal statutes and military regulations which may be applicable to your divorce. Examples include the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, which can affect how disposable military retired pay is divided between the service member and former spouse, as well as determining eligibility for continued medical, commissary, installation exchange, and other benefits.

Overview of Military Divorce

Generally, the military views divorce as a private civil matter to be addressed by a civilian court. Commanders rarely get involved in domestic situations except in limited cases, such as a claim by a dependent that he or she is being denied adequate financial support by the service member spouse. Even in such cases, a commander’s authority is limited, absent a civilian court order.

In a divorce or family law matter, a service member and dependent spouse will need separate legal assistance attorneys to advise them to ensure both parties receive independent, candid and confidential advice, and to be sure there is no conflict of interest in the representation of both parties. Communications between a client and a legal assistance attorney are private, confidential and are generally covered by the attorney-client privilege. While military legal assistance attorneys may not be able to draft specific court documents or represent members or their families in court, they can provide helpful advice on a range of legal issues including divorce and child custody, income taxes, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and wills.

For military divorce or legal separation situations that require representation in civil court or involve contested issues such as child custody, spousal/child support or division of assets like retirement pay, it is recommended that you consult with a civilian attorney who is knowledgeable of the divorce laws of your particular state and has extensive experience with military-related family law.

SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT PROTECTIONS RELATED TO DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act helps protect service members’ legal rights when called to active duty. It applies to active-duty members of the regular forces, members of the National Guard when serving in an active-duty status under federal orders, members of the reserve called to active duty and members of the Armed Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Public Health and the Coast Guard serving on active duty in support of the armed forces.

In regard to divorce proceedings, service members may obtain a “stay” or postponement of a civil court or administrative proceedings if they can show their military service prevents them from either asserting or protecting a legal right such as an upcoming deployment. This is not an automatic right, and a military judge must find there good cause to do so, based on the justification provided by the military member.

Specifically, the courts will look to whether military service materially affected the service member’s ability to take or defend an action in court. If the service member submits a written communication to the court showing:

  • How military requirements materially affect the ability to appear
  • The date when the service member will be available to appear, and
  • Communication from the commanding officer stating that duty prevents appearance and leave is not authorized, the court must grant a stay of at least 90 days. Because some state courts have strict requirements of what specific information must be contained in this notice in order to grant a stay, service members should promptly consult with a legal assistance attorney if they intend to make such a request.

The Service members Civil Relief Act also provides certain protections for members regarding default judgments for failure to respond to a lawsuit or failure to appear at trial. Before a court can enter a default judgment against a military member, the person suing the member must provide the court with an affidavit stating the defendant is not in the military. If the defendant is in the military, the court will appoint an attorney to represent the defendant’s interests (usually by seeking a delay of proceedings). If a default judgment is entered against a service member, the judgment may be reopened if the member makes an application within 90 days after leaving active duty, shows he/she was prejudiced and shows he/she had a legal defense.

UNIFORMED SERVICES FORMER SPOUSE PROTECTION ACT BENEFITS RELATED TO DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act is a federal law that provides certain benefits to former spouses of military members. The benefits may affect receipt of retirement pay and medical care, as well as the use of the exchanges and commissaries. For detailed information about this act and how it may impact your divorce proceedings, please read the article Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act for Divorced Spouses in the Military.

ELIGIBILITY FOR MILITARY BENEFITS

Whether you are entitled to commissary, exchange or medical benefits depends on the length of time you were married, the length of time your spouse served in the military and the number of years your marriage overlapped with his or her military service. To retain full military benefits and privileges upon divorce from a service member, you must meet the requirements of what is known as the “20/20/20 Rule.”

20/20/20 former spouse: An un-remarried former spouse receives medical, commissary, exchange and theater privileges under the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program if:

  • He or she was married to the military member for at least 20 years at the time of the divorce, dissolution or annulment.
  • The military member has performed at least 20 years of service that is creditable in determining eligibility for retired pay (the member does not have to actually be retired from active duty).
  • The former spouse was married to the member during at least 20 years of the member’s retirement-creditable service.

Therefore, if you were married for at least 20 years, and your former spouse performed at least 20 years of service creditable for retired pay, and there was at least a 20-year overlap of the marriage and the military service, you are entitled to full commissary, exchange and health care benefits after the divorce.

20/20/15 former spouse: In the event that you cannot qualify under the “20/20/20 Rule,” you may still be eligible to one year of transitional military benefits for purposes of military medical care only. Similarly, the 20/20/15 rule requires the former spouse to show three things:

  • The service member performed at least 20 years of creditable service.
  • The parties’ marriage lasted at least 20 years.
  • The period of the marriage overlapped the period of service by at least 15 years.

Should these requirements be met, the former spouse will be entitled to retain TRICARE medical coverage, but only for a transitional period of one year. Unlike a 20/20/20 former spouse, a 20/20/15 former spouse will not have access to the military exchange, installation privileges or commissary privileges.

EFFECT OF DIVORCE ON MILITARY BENEFITS

Unless you meet the strict requirements of the 20/20 Rule, you will not be eligible to continue using the commissaries and exchanges once your divorce, dissolution or annulment is finalized. Until your divorce is final you may retain your identification card and can continue to receive your commissary, exchange and health care benefits. Here are some additional issues for you to consider:

  • Installation housing.The service member does not have the authority to evict you; only the installation commander has that authority. By law, military family housing can only be occupied by service members who reside with their family members (with some exceptions). Each of the branches of service has regulations which require the family housing unit to be vacated usually within 30 days if the service member stops residing there or if there are no family members residing there. As a result, if you are separating from your spouse and you are not in the military, you and your family must vacate military family housing.
  • Health care benefits.If you are neither a 20/20/20 nor a 20/20/15 former spouse, you will not be entitled to any military health benefits after your divorce, dissolution or annulment is final. However, you can receive health care coverage through the DoD Continued Health Care Benefit Program, a premium-based temporary health care coverage program, for 36 months of coverage until alternative coverage can be obtained.
  • Spousal and Child Support.Each of the military services has policies requiring service members to support family members upon separation in the absence of an agreement or court order. Please note these policies are designed to be temporary measures and that a commander’s authority is limited without a court order. In order to receive alimony or child support you must specifically request that a civilian court do so. Additionally, you must send Defense Finance and Accounting Service an order from a court or child support enforcement agency that directs the government to pay monies for support or alimony.
  • State courts with jurisdiction over dependent children or a state agency with the proper authority can order child support payments. Alimony payments can also be ordered by the court and satisfied through a garnishment order submitted to DFAS. The allotment will go into effect 30 days after the notice was sent to the military member by DFAS. You must obtain the garnishment order from a state court over the military member and provide it to DFAS.
  • Child supportcan additionally be secured through what is known as a statutory allotment. Statutory allotments are initiated by a complainant parent, state agency, or private attorney, who can establish a support obligation greater or equal to two months.

If you are living overseas when your marriage is terminated by divorce or annulment, you and your children (as well as your possessions) may be able to return to the United States (or your country of origin if you are foreign nationals) at the government’s expense. Service members permanently stationed outside the United States may request early return of dependents, authorizing the return of command-sponsored family members and their household goods before the service member’s tour ends.

Free Consultation with a Military Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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