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How is a military retirement figured into a divorce for 17…

Customer Question
How is a military...

How is a military retirement figured into a divorce for 17 years of marriage? 14 of them were active duty time, the remaining 4 have been since retirement.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

CA

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to anyone in the chain of command about this?

He is now retired

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Division of properties as well

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Military Law
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11/13/2017
Military Lawyer: KLAW, Lawyer replied 5 months ago
KLAW
KLAW, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,137
Experience: I have over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate law, finance, consumer credit, landlord tenant, and business law.
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Good afternoon. I am a legal expert who will assist you today.
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
ok
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I would like to know the division of military retirement for a 17 year marriage, 14 years were while he was active duty, the remaining 3 have been since he retired. I reside in CA. I would also like to know about how marital property is divided, and child support, 2 children, 17 and 15, on will be 18, but she will go with him. I would like to know about college expenses for the 15 year old.
Military Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 5 months ago
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,389
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
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Different expert here. This is Dwayne B. I see the other expert opted out so I will try and assist.

We are limited on the number of questions we can answer in any one thread. I can certainly explain how the division of property, including retirement, works but I can't give you specific numbers since that requires the creation of an attorney client relationship which we can't create on here and which you'd need a local lawyer to create.

I can point you to a page that will allow you to enter the various figures into a child support calculator for your state and it will give you a figure that is very close, sometimes exact, to what the judge will award since it is based on the same tables the state promulgates.

Would that be sufficient?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you!
Military Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 5 months ago

Great!

First off. For the last 20 years or so, military retirement is treated like any other retirement for purposes of division in a divorce. That means that, barring anything unforeseen, the court will likely order the amount of retirement accumulated during the marriage will be equally divided between the spouses, including the interest on that amount. The court has to make that finding in the divorce decree and then there is a special order/form that has to be drafted and signed by the judge and then presented to the retirement division. In regular pensions it is called a QDRO but I don't believe the military uses that yet. They've talked about adopting it several times but I've never seen them actually get around to using it so instead you use a certified copy of the divorce decree and submit it along with the form they will require. It is important that your lawyer enter the specific dates of the marriage for the retirement section so it is easy for the clerks to find.

Marital property is basically divided the same way in that all community/marital property is divided somewhat equally between the parties. Marital/community property is "any property acquired during the marriage except by gift or inheritance". The judge will do their best to give each person an equal $ amount of the marital property.

If you have separate property, ex. something you owned before marriage, then it won't be subject to to division by the court but if it is anything of any value your lawyer would be well advised to get the judge to "recognize it as separate property" in the divorce decree. That just means the decree describes the property and states it is not community property, it is separate property.

As to child support, it is based on formulas and tables established by the state legislature. While it is possible to find these in the law books, no one does that anymore and everyone uses a computer to do the calculations unless the two attorneys are coming up with wildly different numbers with no explanation as to why. I'm going to give you three websites that have free calculators you can use. You just enter the information it asks for and it will give you a number at the end. They may vary slightly (by a few dollars) because some round up and some round down, but it won't be much of a difference. The first one is the "official California" website:

https://www.cse.ca.gov/ChildSupport/cse/guidelineCalculator

http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/california

https://cristinlowelaw.com/practice-areas/child-support/california-child-support-calculator/

Please note that if you don't know a figure or enter the wrong one then the result will be incorrect but that is true on these calculators, with your lawyer, or with the court. While you may not have the info now, your lawyer has ways to get all of it for the final hearing.

As to college expenses, the judges normally don't order parents to pay for college. They can if the parties agree, if there are some kind of special circumstances, if the child enters college before 18, as a part of the property division, etc. You can certainly ask for it, and your lawyer will be able to tell you your specific judge's likelihood of ordering college payments, but as a general rule it isn't something that is ordered.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a 5 Star Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Also please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow-up questions in this thread. I want to be sure all of your questions are answered.

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Military Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 5 months ago

Did you have any additional questions?

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