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Special Considerations for Military Divorce in Washington State


Divorce is never easy, but divorce for military couples when one or both spouses are service members can be particularly complex. You need a divorce attorney with experience handling military divorce cases on your side to ensure that you walk away with everything that you deserve. At the Hodgson Law Office, our knowledgeable Spokane divorce lawyers are prepared to zealously advocate for your best interests in a military divorce. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule an evaluation of your case.

Filing for a Military Divorce in Washington State

Filing for a military divorce can be difficult in its own right. If a service member is deployed when the divorce petition is filed, that spouse has the right to request a delay in proceedings until they return from deployment plus another 90 days to get their affairs in order for the divorce. Washington also has residency requirements for filing which can be confusing, and an attorney can ensure that those requirements are met before the petition is filed.

Military Retirement Pay and Benefits

Military retirement pay is another special consideration in this type of divorce case. Military retirement pay is considered community property in a Washington divorce and is subject to division between spouses. However, there are special rules, such as the 10/10 rule, which can dictate how payments are made.

The military can only be directed to make payments to a non-service member spouse if the couple was married for at least 10 years during 10 years of active service. If the 10/10 rule is not met, the court may still order the distribution of retirement pay through a QDRO or other method.

Non-military spouses of service members may also be entitled to certain benefits in a military divorce. In addition to granting courts the ability to divide military retirement pay, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act can grant non-military spouses access to healthcare at military treatment facilities, access to military exchanges and commissaries, and can provide additional resources for victims of spousal or child abuse.

Child Custody and Support after a Military Divorce

Another special consideration applies when there are minor children involved in the divorce. Child custody and support can be complicated when one or both spouses are active military members. No more than 60% of a military member’s income can be directed toward child support payments, and that amount is reduced to 50% if the service member remarries and has other children.

Custody can also be particularly complex, especially if a parent is called to deploy or is transferred to another base. An experienced divorce attorney can help craft a custody and visitation schedule that is in the best interests of the child and allows both parents to spend quality time with their child, regardless of military status.

Contact a Respected Military Divorce Attorney in Spokane Today

Do you have questions about filing for a military divorce in the Spokane area? If so, the experienced military divorce lawyers at the Hodgson Law Office are here to help. Contact us today to learn more.


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Mark D. Hodgson

Mark D. Hodgson

Mark D. Hodgson and his legal team at Hodgson Law Office provide exceptional, personalized representation in family law and divorce cases. With a commitment to trust, integrity, and vigorous advocacy, Hodgson Law Office offers reliable and compassionate legal assistance for all your family law issues.

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