No couple ever plans on divorcing when they decide to marry. However, many problems can occur in a marriage that can lead to divorce. If you and your spouse have decided that divorce is your best option and one or both of you is in the military, then you obviously have special concerns. You might be wondering if a general family law attorney can adequately handle military divorces. Here are some aspects of finding the right lawyer to handle your military divorce to consider before finding an attorney:
Level of experience
If the family law attorney that you're considering retaining has handled many military divorces, then it shouldn't matter that he or she doesn't specialize in military law. On the other hand, if the attorney that you're considering retaining has handled very few or no military divorces at all, then you might want to think twice before allowing him or her to assist you. There are certain laws specific to military officers, including child support, alimony and child custody.
The complexity of your divorce
If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are amicable with one another and you're able to agree on property division, finances, child custody and visitation, in addition to other important aspects, then retaining a lawyer with an extensive background in military divorces is not necessary. However, if your spouse is contesting the divorce, or the two of you are unable to come up with a mutually acceptable agreement, then a lawyer with experience handling military divorces is recommended. Having an attorney with a military and family law background can increase your chances of the proceedings going as expected.
Length of your marriage
If you and your spouse have been married for less than a year, then depending on which state you reside in, you might be able to simply have the marriage annulled as opposed to divorcing. An annulment would eliminate the need to divide property and finances, since it will be as if the marriage never occurred in the first place. If you have been married more than a year, then an annulment may still be possible, depending on the laws of your specific state as well as the circumstances surrounding the marriage.
Some divorces have the tendency to be quite complex, and when the husband or wife is in the military, things can become even more complicated. You might feel more at ease having a lawyer with specific training and experience in military divorces. Despite this fact, many lawyers with a specialty in family law often have enough expertise to handle a military divorce in an adequate manner. This is why it is important to interview prospective choices and ask as many questions as necessary to help you choose the right law professional. Speak to an attorney, like those at Law Offices of Peter Napolitano & Wayne Hibbeler, if you have more specific questions about the intricacies of military divorces.