Military Divorce in Colorado: What You Need to Know in 2024
Learn about how military divorces work in Colorado
Divorce is a challenging process, and when it involves military service members, additional complexities arise. Military divorce in Colorado has its unique set of rules and considerations that spouses need to understand and navigate. Here is what you need to know about military divorce in Colorado.
Residency Requirements For Military Divorce in Colorado
Before filing for military divorce in Colorado, it is crucial to meet the residency requirements. Either you or your spouse must be a Colorado resident for a minimum of 91 days before filing. However, if the active-duty military member is stationed in Colorado, they may claim residency regardless of their length of stay.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Impact on Divorce
The SCRA is a federal law that protects active-duty service members from legal proceedings, including divorce, while on duty. This means that the divorce process may be postponed or suspended until the service member is available to participate. However, it’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to understand the specific implications of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act in your case.
Division of Military Pensions in a Divorce
Military pensions are considered marital property that can be subject to division during a divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) governs the division of military retirement pay. In Colorado, the court may award a portion of the military pension to the non-military spouse based on the length of the marriage during the service member’s active-duty service. An experienced Colorado military divorce attorney can help determine what is fair and make sure you’re receiving the benefits your marriage entitled you to.
Military Divorce with Child Custody and Visitation Considerations
Child custody and visitation arrangements in military divorces follow the same guidelines as civilian divorces in Colorado. The court will consider the best interests of the child when determining custody and visitation schedules. However, military service and deployments may impact custody arrangements, and flexibility is crucial for both parties involved.
While SCRA provides protections they are not absolute. The court must always consider the child’s best interest. If a court finds that there is an urgent and compelling reason to issue orders regarding custody, or change current custody orders then the proceeding may not be stayed during your employment,
Military Divorce Child Support and Alimony
Child support in military divorces is calculated based on the Colorado Child Support Guidelines, which take into account the parents’ income and the number of children. The court will consider any additional allowances or benefits the service member receives while calculating child support.
Maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support, may be awarded to the non-military spouse based on various factors, such as the length of the marriage, the financial needs of the recipient spouse, and the paying spouse’s ability to pay. The court will evaluate the unique circumstances of the case before making a decision on spousal support.
Military Protections Offered During Divorce
Active-duty service members have specific protections against default judgments in divorce proceedings. The SCRA allows military members to request a stay of the proceedings if they are unable to appear in court due to military service. Additionally, they may be granted additional time to respond to legal documents.
Military Health Care and Benefits in A Divorce
The non-military spouse may be entitled to receive continued health care benefits under the military’s TRICARE system, depending on the length of the marriage and other factors. It’s essential to explore these options during the divorce process to ensure adequate healthcare coverage.
Service Deployments and Parenting Plans
If the service member is frequently deployed, creating a parenting plan becomes even more critical. The plan should address how child custody and visitation will be handled during deployments and consider provisions for alternative caretakers. When children are involved, this is of the utmost importance and your attorney can assist with creating the best plan for your co-parenting.
Base Privileges and Military Divorce
In a divorce, an ex-spouse of a military member may still be eligible for base privileges like commissary and exchange. In order to be eligible, the former spouse must qualify under the 20/20/20 rule with the following requirements:
- Married to your former spouse for at least twenty years
- The military member was in the military for at least twenty years
- The marriage overlapped the time in service by at least twenty years.
If these criteria are met in your divorce, the ex-spouse of the military member is entitled to full base privileges as long as they do not remarry.
Importance of Legal Representation in Military Divorce
Given the complexities of military divorce in Colorado, it is highly advisable to seek legal representation from an attorney experienced in handling military divorce cases. They can guide you through the unique challenges and ensure your rights and interests are protected.
In conclusion, military divorce in Colorado comes with its own set of rules and considerations that differ from civilian divorces. Understanding the legal protections and benefits available to both parties is crucial. If you are contemplating a military divorce in Colorado, consult with Colorado Legal Group to navigate through the complexities and ensure a fair and equitable resolution for all parties involved. Remember that every divorce is unique, and with the right support and guidance, you can successfully navigate this challenging chapter in your life.
Colorado Legal Group is privileged to have a distinct opportunity in serving military personnel and their spouses, by providing them with the high-level divorce representation they deserve. We have a profound admiration for those who serve our country, and it brings us immense pride to offer our expertise to these individuals and their partners, along with a discounted consultation rate. Advocating for military clients and their spouses is not only a passion but also a way for us to express our respect and gratitude towards their service. With office locations in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Grand Junction, our team provides excellent representation for military divorces in Colorado. Fill out a free case evaluation or call for help with your military divorce in Colorado.