Military Benefits and Family Law: A Guide for Air Force Academy Families in Colorado Springs
Learn how to make informed decisions regarding military benefits and family law issues in our guide for servicemembers and their families.
Navigating the intersection of military benefits and family law can be a complex and critical journey for members of all military branches, including families associated with the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. With the unique challenges and opportunities that this life brings, it’s important to understand how military benefits and family law apply to service members and their loved ones.
How Are Military Family Law Cases Handled Differently?
Military divorces frequently raise questions related to jurisdiction, custody arrangements, the equitable division of retirement benefits, and whether payments can be directly received from DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service). Such intricacies can initially appear overwhelming, but our team of attorneys in Colorado Springs are experienced in handling these kinds of divorces, addressing the concerns of both the serving member and their spouse. We prioritize a client-centric approach when dealing with military benefits and family law, aiming to guide you through these complex matters in the most efficient, time-saving, cost-effective, and emotionally healthy manner possible.
What Military Benefits Does a Spouse Get?
Spouses of individuals associated with the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs or any other branches of the military are eligible for a range of benefits and support services. These benefits can vary depending on the branch that they are associated with, the service member’s rank, and their specific circumstances, but some common benefits include:
Healthcare: Spouses can often access comprehensive healthcare coverage through programs like TRICARE. This can only be possible as long as the 20/20/20 rule is met, and as long as the ex-spouse does not remarry.
Housing: Housing is available for eligible families associated with the Air Force Academy and other branches of the military. This benefit provides housing at or near military installations, offering a stable and affordable living environment.
Financial Support: Spouses may receive financial assistance, such as housing allowances or cost-of-living adjustments, to help cover the costs of living expenses.
Education: Education benefits can be offered to spouses, including the opportunity to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees through programs like the Post-9/11 GI Bill or the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program.
Family Support Services: The Air Force Academy, along with other branches of the military, provides a wide range of family support services, such as counseling, child care, and employment assistance programs, to help spouses and families feel supported in their community.
What Happens to My Spousal Benefits During a Divorce?
Spousal benefits may be affected by the divorce process. The key determinant is often the length of the marriage and the specific benefit in question. This is where the 20-20-20 rule comes into play. If the marriage lasted for at least 20 years, with at least 20 years of service, and the marriage overlapped the time in service by at least 20 years, the non-military spouse may be entitled to certain benefits under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA). This could include continued access to healthcare through TRICARE, commissary privileges, and a portion of the service member’s retirement pay. However, if the marriage does not meet these criteria, the spousal benefits may not be retained.
Family Law for Members of the Military
Military benefits and family law during a divorce encompass various aspects. One of the most difficult parts when considering military benefits and family law is that members may face deployment and relocation. These challenges necessitate careful consideration when establishing custody and support agreements to ensure the well-being of their families during service-related moves.
Child custody cases in Colorado Springs operate similarly to civilian child support procedures. The key difference lies in the enforcement mechanisms and considerations related to military life. When a service member is required to pay child support, the family court issues an order outlining the amount and terms of support, taking into account factors such as the service member’s income, the child’s needs, and the cost of living in the area.
Role of Regulations in Military Family Law
One distinctive aspect of military benefits and family law is the role of regulations. These separate regulations require service members to support their dependents, including children. Failure to meet these obligations can result in disciplinary actions such as reprimands, rank reductions, or even discharge. Additionally, the family court may enforce child support orders through various means, including wage garnishment, seizing tax refunds, and using military legal channels to ensure compliance.
Child support calculations in these cases can become complex when service members receive additional allowances or benefits, such as housing allowances or combat pay. These extra forms of compensation may be included when determining the service member’s income for child support calculations. Overall, the goal of child support in child custody cases in Colorado Springs is to ensure that the financial well-being of the child is protected, regardless of the parent’s status.
Finding the Right Attorney For Military Benefits and Family Law
Colorado Legal Group understands the unique challenges that Air Force Academy families in Colorado Springs and families of all military branches may encounter during their family law case. Our experienced Colorado Springs family law attorneys are well-versed in military benefits and family law matters and are committed to providing you with the knowledgeable guidance you need. If you have questions or require expert legal advice tailored to your specific situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to Colorado Legal Group. Your peace of mind is our priority. Contact our Colorado Springs office today to take the first step toward resolution and a brighter future. Let us be your trusted partner in securing your family’s legal well-being.