Eleven (11) Checklists for Military Divorce
Steps not to forget in a military divorce decree
The military is used to checklists. Even military spouses quickly become familiar with checklists. You have the in-processing, out-processing, household goods shipments, etc.
There is always some set of rules or steps to take in every procedure. The first checklist probably began with basic training, learning how to shine your shoes where adding water was somewhere in the list of things to do, the checklist to reach that perfect shine.
So, it’s a natural expectation that there must be some regulation that provides the military divorce checklist of what to do during a divorce. And both sides, the service member and the former spouse, will expect that regulation to be unbiased and fairly state actions to take for their particular cause.
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Even when Congress passed the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, it only gave authority to the states to treat military retired pay as a divisible marital asset. There was no checklist on how each state should actually accomplish this.
Military Divorce Tips includes eleven military divorce checklists (summarized below) to assist service members, military spouses, and military divorce lawyers down correct paths. Keep in mind these checklists focus on Military Divorce. They are not all inclusive divorce checklists.
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Military Divorce Notification Checklist:
The military divorce checklist for divorce notification will provide steps to take when you are first notified that one party is considering or has filed for divorce.
Military Lawyer Interview Checklist:
The military divorce checklist for the lawyer interview contains background (skill, education, experience) questions, in depth questions on military divorce issues, and questions for lawyers to answer concerning how certain topics are handled in their particular state. (This checklist should be used after reading the
contents of the book.)
Checklist of Reasons to (or not to) Delay a Military Divorce:
The title of this checklist says it all. It can be used strategically when trying to favor one party but perhaps is best used for amicable situations where a couple wishes to maximize all benefits.
The Divorce Process Checklist:
This checklist focuses solely on the military aspects when processing a divorce. It includes actions for both the service member and
former spouse from initial filing all the way through finalization. It including steps to take at retirement (which could occur at, prior to, or several years after the final decree is processed.
A Discovery Checklist for Retired Pay Division:
This short checklists includes military items that should be requested in the discovery process. Service members and former spouses should use this with their lawyers to be sure no items are omitted.
Divorce Decree Checklist for Military Finances:
This checklist includes military financial issues that should be at a minimum – discussed prior to finalizing a divorce decree. In most cases, each item should probably be addressed in the verbiage used in a military divorce decree.
Military Divorce State Comparison Checklist:
Those looking for “the best state to file for a military divorce” will be disappointed. This military divorce checklist includes the issues and ideas to consider when comparing states to file. It does not include a state by state law comparison for you to decide on your own in which state to file. It is a tool for use in discussions with laywers knowledgeable in different state laws.
Note: When looking for the “best state to file for a military divorce,” remember every situation will have unique circumstances. All states have their own pros and cons, with Puerto Rico being the only one that disallows division
of the military pension. (Of course, one should consider all of Puerto Rico’s laws relating to divorce prior to blindly choosing it, (assuming it is an option.))
Be cautious of anyone who claims you will get the best deal by filing in a particular state.
Military Retirement Pension – Decree Award Steps Checklist:
This checklist summarizes the complicated steps for making the computations for division of military retirement (retainer) pay.
Military Divorce SBP Comprehension Checklist:
The Survivor Benefit Plan checklist (SBP) ensures SBP topics are fully discussed and understood before making a final decision on SBP language used in a military divorce decree.
Military Divorce Designated Agent Checklist:
This simple checklists ensures you are prepared for discussions before beginning to call the designated agent. When calling on important issues, the last thing you want to be doing is digging into files for the requested information.
Military Remarriage Checklist – After Divorce:
This military divorce checklists acts as a reminder of issues that might be affected by remarriage. If remarriage occurs several years after divorce, this cheat sheet will quickly remind both parties to explore issues that might be changing.