Divorce is never an easy process. For members of the military, due to the nature of their service and compensation, ending a marriage can be especially challenging. Family law attorney Michael L. Seidman understands the nuances of military divorce from multiple perspectives. He is not only a knowledgeable lawyer – he is also a veteran. Michael offers the following tips for military service members embarking on divorce:
- Make sure really want to divorce. Talk to your spouse. Have you both done everything possible to save the marriage? Many military bases offer onsite marriage counseling or referrals to local professionals.
- Gather all paperwork. If you’ve decided to divorce, both parties should start collecting all asset paperwork that lists pay and benefits, retirement and banking statements, and debt such as mortgage and vehicle loans.
- Find a reputable divorce attorney. Find an attorney who is familiar with military culture and that you feel you can trust to represent your best interests during proceedings.
- Take care of yourself. Divorce is one of the most stressful transitions anyone can experience. Talking to friends and family, exercising or talking to a professional therapist can be helpful.
- Be patient. Remember that divorce is a legal process, and all legal processes take time. While it may seem like your marriage ended months ago, until a divorce decree is issued, you are still married in the eyes of the law. Try to be patient and allow yourself to not make any major life decisions during this time. Every action you make can be used in court. This is a time to remain calm and allow the process to run its course.
Representing someone who is in the military or married to a service member requires knowledge that not every divorce attorney has. Michael L. Seidman understands the intricacies of both the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SRCA) and the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), a law that describes how military benefits can be divided.
The Law Office of Michael L. Seidman is located in Bakersfield, California, and helps many service members from Camp Pendleton in San Diego and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in Ridgecrest, as well as veterans in general.