Maggio Law Firm, PC

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Military family law involves interplay of state and service regs

The Gulfport area is a bastion for members of the uniformed services. We have the Coast Guard, the Navy and the Air Force in close proximity. With many of the dedicated service people come spouses and possibly children.

While each branch has standards of procedure aimed at providing solid support to members and their families, there are times when difficulties arise. When they do, unique family law issues can also come up. That's because of the cross-section of jurisdictions -- those of the particular service and those of the state in which individuals may be based.

Multiple parties have a stake in how things go when the military is involved. Whether it's getting married, getting divorced, providing for the support of children or dividing property and assets, the service member's chain of command is bound to weigh in. So will the courts of the state.

Among the issues that are typically of great concern when service members and their spouses are considering divorce is what will happen to the non-military spouses' access to commissary and exchange privileges and health care benefits. The services and the courts take a lot of factors into account when deciding how to fairly balance such things. These can include the number of years the couple has been married, how many years the service member can claim toward retirement eligibility and more.

That can create a lot of opportunity for dispute, and if things aren't handled effectively it can result in unfavorable situations that affect entire families for years. Getting the help of a qualified family law attorney who can help navigate the various delicate intersections is always advised.

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