When one spouse in a marriage is in the military, a divorce or dissolution is more challenging than typical divorce cases. If you are stationed in another area of the country, in a war zone or at a base overseas, a divorce will require an attorney who has specialized knowledge of the unique issues involved in a military divorce. This includes determining residency, dividing property (such as military benefits and pension), child custody, visitation schedules and child and spousal support.  

As an experienced family law attorney with over twenty years of practice in Ohio, Paul Panico has the skill and know-how to handle military divorce cases. He will walk you through the process, making arrangements to suit your specific needs and communicating with you throughout to ensure that you understand and are on board with the next steps in your divorce case. He serves clients throughout central Ohio, including Rickenbacker Air Force Base and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Paul offers free consultations to all of his clients.

Military Divorces for Spouses on Active Duty

Divorce can be complicated, but it is often even more difficult when one spouse is in the military. You may be living in a separate state or country from your spouse, and you may be worried about how your service will impact your ability to see your children. However, with a skilled Ohio military divorce attorney, these concerns can be addressed. There are several options available for anyone on active duty who is seeking a divorce, depending on where you and your spouse are currently living.

If both spouses are currently in Ohio and have resided here for at least six months, dissolution may be an option if you can agree on all major issues, such as property division, support, and custody. This is typically the least expensive and most efficient option for individuals who wish to end their marriage.

However, if one spouse is not present in Ohio, dissolution may not be an option. Instead, you can pursue an uncontested divorce. Again, both parties must typically agree to most of the major issues in the case. However, only one spouse has to be present in the courtroom for the divorce to be finalized by a judge.  

If you are on active duty and stationed overseas, you will not likely be able to return to Ohio for divorce proceedings. In special circumstances, a private judge may permit you to appear via video conferencing or Skype to handle your divorce or dissolution. In that way, you could “appear” before the judge in order to finalize your divorce or uncontested divorce.

If your divorce is contested and you are stationed overseas, contact Paul to discuss how your case can be resolved. The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act and the Civil Relief Act prohibit any judgment in a civil case from being rendered against you while you are deployed. This includes divorces. Any civil cases will be suspended or postponed while you are on active duty.

How We Can Help You In A Divorce While You Serve Our Country

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Special Considerations for Military Divorces

In military divorce cases, one of the most highly contentious issues is how a military pension will be divided between spouses. Federal law governs this issue, with what is known as the Ten Ten Rule. This rule provides that for a former spouse to be entitled to military pension benefits, the military member must have been in service for at least ten years and the marriage must have lasted for at least ten years. This requirement must be met in order for the non-military spouse to receive the pension benefits. However, even if the non-military spouse is not entitled to the benefits, a court may place a value on the pension benefits as part of the distribution of assets, and then require the military member to compensate the former spouse for that value. This aspect of military divorces makes it more important that you have an experienced Ohio family law attorney like Paul Panico to represent you in your military divorce case.


Military Divorce Attorney in Columbus, Ohio

Paul Panico understands the complexities of military divorce cases, including how to best resolve a case based on the residence of the spouse and how a military pension factors into asset distribution. He offers a number of solutions for his military divorce clients, including options for finalizing a divorce while a spouse is stationed overseas. Contact his office today for a free consultation for your Ohio military divorce.