Fairfax Military Divorce Lawyer

Thousands of service members call Virginia home. Just like civilian couples, military spouses may choose to divorce. Getting an experienced Fairfax military divorce lawyer at The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC will guide you through the process and make sure your rights are protected is paramount. Contact us at (703) 271-6519.

Our legal team has more than 20 years of experience in family law practice. Our founding attorney, Afsana Chowdhury, has been included in the Top 40 Under 40 list of lawyers by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys. She also has a perfect 10.0 rating with Avvo and Justia for her commitment to clients and legal services. 

We are here to help you and your family resolve divorce issues fairly in Fairfax, Virginia. Contact our family law firm and schedule a consultation.

How The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC Can Help if You Are Going Through a Military Divorce in Fairfax

How The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC Can Help if You Are Going Through a Military Divorce in Fairfax

Military divorces have complicated issues that civilian spouses do not face. Federal and state laws can impact many of the issues in a military divorce case. An ordinary divorce can be stressful, but when you add the military aspect, the divorce can be entirely overwhelming.

Attorney Afsana Chowdhury is an experienced Fairfax divorce lawyer with a special focus on military divorces. She understands all aspects of a military divorce and the laws that govern the various issues within a divorce action.

Afsana Chowdhury is a top-rated Fairfax family law attorney nationally recognized as a prominent divorce attorney in the area.

When you hire The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC to handle your military divorce, you can trust that we will:

  • Explain your legal rights and how the military aspect will impact divorce issues
  • Thoroughly research the issues involved in your divorce and prepare a legal strategy for achieving your desired outcome
  • Work to protect your best interests, including during settlement negotiations
  • Work with you to negotiate a fair divorce settlement that protects you and your children

Each client we represent receives the time and resources they deserve. Achieving a positive outcome in your case is our highest priority. Let us help you obtain a divorce settlement that allows you to move confidently into the next phase of your life. 

Call now for a case evaluation with an experienced military divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA. You deserve to be represented by an attorney who cares about you and diligently works to ensure you are treated with respect and fairness during your divorce.

What Special Issues Could Arise in a Fairfax Military Divorce?

Many issues may need to be evaluated in a Fairfax military divorce, and some of these are unique to these types of cases. The parties must resolve these issues through settlement negotiations or mediation. If not, they proceed to trial, and a judge decides for them.

Because one or both spouses are or were in the military while they were married, special laws may apply to some divorce issues, such as dividing military retirement. Child custody and visitation could be significant issues in a military divorce, depending on where the military spouse is deployed. 

A skilled Fairfax military divorce lawyer can help resolve these issues to arrive at a fair settlement that is in everyone’s best interests. 

What Is a Military Spouse Entitled to During a Divorce in Virginia?

A military spouse can receive a portion of the marital assets, spousal support, child support, and a portion of their ex-spouse’s military retirement. Generally, military retirement is one of the most complex issues the parties deal with during their divorce.

Dividing Military Retirement in a Fairfax Divorce 

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) is a federal law allowing states to divide a servicemember’s retirement with their spouse during a divorce. The law does not automatically entitle a spouse to an interest in the servicemember’s retirement pay. Instead, it allows states to treat military retired pay as marital property.

Virginia Code §20-107.3 makes military retired pay marital property during a divorce action. Therefore, a servicemember’s retirement pay can be subject to Virginia’s equitable division laws for marital assets. Suppose the spouses do not negotiate a settlement for retirement pay. In that case, a judge can divide the military retirement pay however the judge deems fair and equitable based on the evidence presented in court.

Many people confuse the 10/10 rule to mean that they must be married for at least ten years to receive a portion of their ex-spouse’s military retired pay. However, this is not the case. A state court can award a portion of the retirement pay to a former spouse regardless of the duration of the marriage. 

However, for the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS) to make direct payments of retired pay to a former spouse, the couple must have been married for at least ten years. Additionally, the service member must have performed at least ten years of creditable military service. Otherwise, the DFAS will not make direct payments to an ex-spouse for retirement payments.

However, the 10/10 rule does not apply to direct payments for alimony or child support. 

It is also important to note that disability pay is not included in the retired pay that can be divided with a former spouse. Nonetheless, there are ways you can receive the support you need. Working with an experienced Fairfax military divorce lawyer is crucial because only experienced military divorce attorneys understand the options for receiving spousal support as a former military spouse.

What Should I Know About the Survivor Benefit Plan in a Virginia Military Divorce?

The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) pays a monthly amount to a designated beneficiary after a retired servicemember’s death. The plan can be a significant resource for former military spouses who outlive their ex-spouse. 

Virginia’s property division law authorizes the court to order SBP coverage for a former spouse in a military divorce. The judge determines which spouse pays the costs of maintaining the plan. An experienced Fairfax military divorce lawyer can help you negotiate an SBP as part of your divorce settlement. 

Child Custody in a Virginia Military Divorce Case 

Child custody issues can also be complex issues to address in many military divorces. If the service member is stationed outside of Virginia, special protections ensure they can exercise their parental rights. 

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act can change how custody matters are handled in a military divorce. As with all child custody cases, Virginia’s law requiring judges to determine what is in a child’s best interest also applies. However, the court does not use a servicemember’s responsibilities and service to the country against them when enforcing parental rights.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for child custody and military divorces. Each case must be considered on the facts and circumstances relevant to that case. An experienced Fairfax military divorce attorney can help you determine the best strategy for resolving custody issues, including filing emergency motions for temporary orders and negotiating a long-term parenting plan.

What Are the Grounds for a Military Divorce in Virginia?

The grounds for a military divorce in Virginia are the same as for all divorces. 

Either spouse can file for a no-fault divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. The spouses must have lived separate and apart for at least one year if they have children or six months if they have a signed separation agreement and no children. Deployed servicemembers can use their deployment time as part of the waiting period for a no-fault divorce in Virginia. 

Otherwise, a spouse can file for a military divorce on the fault grounds of:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment or desertion
  • Cruelty
  • Serving in prison for a felony conviction for 12 months or longer

Military members have special considerations that non-military spouses are not afforded during a divorce. For example, a servicemember may be able to delay divorce proceedings if they are deployed in active service. They may also have additional time to respond to divorce papers without being held in default.

The best way to understand your rights during a military divorce is to talk with a Fairfax military divorce lawyer. Attorneys are skilled in these matters and can help you understand your legal options. 

What Does It Cost To Hire a Fairfax Military Divorce Lawyer?

At The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, we have no hidden fees for our legal services. We “cap” our fees for services so that you know what to expect.

A divorce can be stressful. We do not want to add to that stress. Contact our office to learn more about our military divorce services in Fairfax, Virginia. 

Schedule a Consultation With Our Fairfax Military Divorce Lawyers

Do not trust your case to an attorney who does not focus on military divorces. You need someone who understands the law and what is required to protect your interests. 

Military service can affect a divorce in many ways. Call The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC to request a case review with an experienced Fairfax military divorce attorney.

Visit Our Family Law Office In Fairfax, VA

Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC

10805 Main St STE 700A,
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: (703) 271-6519
Business Hours:
Monday: 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

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