Beverly Hills Military Divorce Attorney
Are you considering filing for divorce in Beverly Hills, CA? If you or your spouse are a member of the military, your case could present some unique challenges. You’ll need an experienced Beverly Hills military divorce lawyer on your side who can advocate for your interests with confidence.
At Berenji & Associates, our family lawyers have more than 25 years of combined experience. We thoroughly understand the federal, state, and military laws that can apply to divorce proceedings for service members. If you hire us, we’ll do everything in our power to help you achieve your goals.
Contact us today to get started. We offer an initial case evaluation to review your circumstances and offer preliminary legal advice.
How Berenji & Associates Can Help With Your Military Divorce in Beverly Hills
A divorce can take a heavy toll on you and your family even before the process begins in earnest. The stakes couldn’t be higher for your future, and matters can become contentious if important issues like child custody and spousal support need to be addressed. Military-specific concerns oftentimes only add to these emotionally-charged circumstances.
With all of this in mind, it’s clear that you deserve to have a trusted Beverly Hills divorce attorney on your side who will cut no corners in making you their top priority. Look no further than Berenji and Associates.
Our award-winning family lawyers have garnered recognition from Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and many other well-respected legal professional organizations. We can help with your military divorce case in Beverly Hills, California, by:
- Ensuring you understand how all of the relevant laws apply to your specific case
- Working hard to achieve all of your desired outcomes related to every issue
- Hire experts, such as forensic accountants and other professionals, to assist with your case as needed
- Defend you against any unfounded allegations of domestic violence or other kinds of wrongdoing that may arise
- Represent you during any and all court proceedings and negotiations with your spouse’s counsel
We’re here to provide you with compassionate, effective legal services at every stage of your case. Call today to set up an initial consultation.
Jurisdictional Considerations for Military Divorces in California
To get a divorce in California, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for the past six months and in their current California county for the past three months. This is the default residency requirement for all divorces in the state.
However, military members and their spouses may have multiple jurisdictions where they can file for divorce. This can include the state where the service member is stationed, the state where the spouse(s) reside, or the state that the service member has designated as their legal residence.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be beneficial for you to file in one state over another – laws differ between jurisdictions, and the implications can influence the process significantly.
Serving the divorce papers on your spouse – through what is called service of process – also can work differently in military divorce cases. This is especially true if the military member is stationed overseas or on a military base.
While these may seem like minor logistical considerations, the truth is that they can make the divorce process more complex. An experienced military divorce lawyer understands these nuances and can use them to your benefit.
How Can the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Impact My Beverly Hills Military Divorce?
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides protections for military members regarding certain civil obligations. Divorces are considered civil actions in a court of law, and so they are covered by the SCRA. The primary outcome of this applicability is that military divorces can take longer than civilian divorces.
For instance, normally, a spouse served with divorce papers in California has 30 days to respond. If they fail to do so, the other spouse who submitted the papers can file for a default judgment to finalize the divorce more quickly. This 30-day time limit does not necessarily apply to service members, however.
Further, a service member may delay divorce proceedings for a 90-day time period as circumstances demand under the SCRA.
Nonetheless, military members may not abuse these rights given to them by the SCRA. Our attorneys are qualified to help you in either position, whether you are a military member who needs to assert their SCRA rights or aim to ensure your spouse is not utilizing them inappropriately.
How Will Being in the Military Impact Issues Like Child Support, Child Custody, and Spousal Support?
Child support, spousal support, and child custody are three of the most common issues in any divorce action. Being a member of the military can impact how they are evaluated.
California’s guidelines for child support are incredibly complex on their own. However, military laws might also apply to the proceedings, and they may not necessarily align with state laws. For example, child support payments cannot exceed 60% of a service member’s allowances under military laws.
Similar considerations apply to awards of spousal support (alimony). In California, the spouse who makes more money is typically ordered to provide support. This goes for military divorces as well as civilian divorces.
However, the same 60% threshold discussed above for child support still could apply. Military laws may also define “income” differently than California laws, which can complicate matters for both spousal and child support.
When it comes to determining child custody in California, the overarching principle is whether the outcome is in the “best interest of the child.” Although military members may be deployed for significant periods of time, this does not necessarily impact their right to custody.
Service members can still be given legal custody of their children, for instance, which gives them authority to make important decisions. The SCRA may also provide protections in this area, for instance, regarding the timeline for creating a parenting plan, also referred to as visitation.
Domestic Violence Accusations During a Divorce Proceeding Can Impact Your Military Service
Unfortunately, it is far from unheard of for a spouse to make domestic violence allegations against their other spouse during a divorce proceeding. They made do this in an effort to gain an upper hand in how important issues are determined.
This can have far-reaching implications for a military member. For example, being convicted of domestic violence can constitute a “crime of moral turpitude.” Persons convicted of a crime of moral turpitude may be precluded from serving in the military under the law.
In addition, under California law, a person convicted of certain domestic violence offenses may not legally own a firearm in the state. This, too, can impact one’s ability to serve in the military.
The best way to protect yourself against these kinds of allegations is to hire a trusted divorce lawyer who has experience with domestic violence issues.
Property Division in a Beverly Hills, CA Military Divorce
California is one of the relatively few states that follows a “community property” model of property division. This means that any joint property will be divided equally among the spouses, while any separate property will be kept by the appropriate spouse.
For military divorces, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) may apply to property division issues. This law provides guidance for how property like military pensions and other retirement benefits are to be allocated between spouses.
An attorney who has working knowledge of the USFSPA can make all the difference in how your property division issues are handled by the court.
Schedule a Case Evaluation With an Experienced Beverly Hills Military Divorce Attorney
Military and civilian divorces can differ significantly. To have your interests adequately represented, you’ll require a Beverly Hills military divorce lawyer who understands state, federal, and military laws – as well as how they interact.
Berenji & Associates is well-suited to help you from start to finish. With more than 25 years of total experience, our family law attorneys know what it takes to help you secure an outcome that sets you up for success moving forward.
Call today to schedule a time to meet and discuss your case.