Divorce & Annulment

questions & answers

Question: My husband was Active Duty Army when we married and had a son together. He got a divorce without my knowledge after 8 years and went on to Retire as a Sgt. Major. Am I entitled to part of his retirement ? I now live in AL and he lives in VA.

Answer: Federal law allows state divorce courts to divide pension benefits.  In your case, if your husband never served you with the divorce papers, how do you know for certain there was a divorce.  You will need a copy of the decree.  If there is no division of pension in the decree, you can file for a modification of the terms and request a division of the pension.  Whether you will get a portion of the military retirement will depend on the laws of the state where the divorce decree was issued.  To learn more, go to: https://www.lawforveterans.org/family-law/384-dividing-military-pensions-in-divorce-the-rules-have-changed.  You may also want to sit down with a lawyer and all of your paperwork.  There are three programs in Arizona that you can use to get inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the modest means program.  You will need to apply for the program and meet the financial qualifications.  Once you are qualified, Modest Means will send you a list of attorneys whose practice covers your area of concern.  You select a lawyer from the list and will be entitled to a one hour consultation for $75.  If you need additional help and if the lawyer agrees to take your case, the most you will be charged is  $75 per  hour.  The telephone number is (866) 637-5341.  Both Maricopa and Pima Counties have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers its 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney for $40.  The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute attorney consult for $35.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.

QUESTIONS

  • My husband was Active Duty Army when we married and had a son together. He got a divorce without my knowledge after 8 years and went on to Retire as a Sgt. Major. Am I entitled to part of his retirement ? I now live in AL and he lives in VA.

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
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