Military life can be extremely challenging because of the constant moving, long work hours, and numerous deployments. Sometimes these challenges cause military members and their spouse to end their marriage. Military couples often have young children, and because of the lifestyle, the non-military spouse is often unemployed or underemployed.
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Military members face many problems that require legal solutions when they choose to get divorced in Alaska. Although the first question is very simple to answer, the service member should give it some serious consideration because the laws governing divorce will differ with each state. A military member stationed at a military base in Alaska for at least thirty days is considered a resident for the purpose of filing for divorce.
If the member files for divorce in Alaska, the laws of Alaska will control the outcome of the proceeding.
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The member could also consider filing for divorce where the spouse is living if geographically separated, or file in the state where the military member claims legal residency. The member should carefully consider the difference in law between each state before filing for divorce. The second question is a little more complex. A military member is entitled to a variety of benefits at different times after retirement.
Those benefits include military pension, health benefits, potential disability benefits, and base access privileges. There is a mixture of state and federal law that is used to determine how each of these benefits is divided, if at all. Divorce proceedings are a subdivision of Family Law, which is controlled by state law. This means the non-military spouse is entitled to fifty percent of the pension that was earned during the marriage.
Although a service member must serve twenty years months for his or her military pension to fully vest, he or she is earning credit towards that pension on a monthly basis. The exact amount of a monthly military pension is a multistep calculation that is influenced by many factors, including the number of years of service. Each month of service that overlaps with marriage is considered marital property.
For example, if a couple is married for ten years during a twenty-year military career, Alaska law will consider ten years of the military pension as marital property. Because the couple was married for ten years, the non-military spouse can receive payment directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
If the couple was not married for ten years or more, the service member then would be responsible for paying the non-military ex-spouse monthly payments. Many other issues make military divorces different than civilian divorces. This law is designed to protect military members from being taken advantage of while serving the nation. However, an active-duty service member can waive the right to have the divorce proceedings postponed.
The military also has specific rules regarding child support and spousal support to ensure service members fulfill family support obligations.
The court can enforce these obligations by court order, wage garnishment, or voluntary or involuntary allotment. As with any divorce, a key issue in a military divorce is the division of property, including retirement pay which is ultimately based on how long a military member serves. Thus, the pension in a long-term military marriage could ultimately be the single largest asset. The benefits accrued are measured in terms of months for active duty members or points for guard or reserve members.click
Alaska Alimony Guide - Alimony Laws, Amounts, and Duration
If the member served on active duty, then only the months of service are counted. If the member was only in the reserves, then points are counted.
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If the member served on active duty and then as a reservist, the points accrued during reserve time are converted to months for calculating the marital fraction. Instead, the court may order a retiring service member to pay a former spouse directly or through an allotment. It is common for service members to receive a disability rating as a result of their service. This means the member will receive retirement and disability pay.
Will Maintenance Be Awarded?
Since disability pay is not subject to division in a divorce, it is imperative that the non-member know whether the member qualifies for CRDP in which case, the full amount of the retired pay is subject to division in a divorce. The rule requires:. There was at least a twenty-year overlap of the marriage and military service A former spouse meeting the requirements is eligible for lifetime medical benefits unless he or she is covered under an employer-sponsored plan.