Representing Clients in Military Divorces in Alabama
Going through a contentious divorce is difficult enough, but the process can become even more taxing if you or your partner is currently serving in the military. At Loftin, Loftin & May, we can aggressively represent your interests throughout each stage of your divorce will fight to secure the best possible outcome in your case. Our Phenix City military divorce lawyers have over 55 years of collective experience and understand how Alabama courts adjudicate disputes involving property division, child custody, child support, and other key issues. We are also extensively familiar with how military regulations and federal laws intersect with matters of family law and can provide the knowledgeable advocacy you need to navigate what can be a complex and arduous process.
We proudly offer a 10% discount on our services to members of the United States military. Contact us online or call (334) 310-0208 to schedule a case evaluation.
When Can I File for a Military Divorce in Alabama?
Like with non-military divorce, you or your partner must live in the Alabama county from where you plan to file for at least six months. A deployed servicemember can also file for a military divorce in Alabama if they have been stationed here for a minimum of six months.
Note that you can still file for a military divorce in Alabama if your servicemember spouse is currently deployed elsewhere, even overseas. So long as you have lived in Alabama for six months or more, you can file your complaint in the state.
Your complaint must include a reason for the divorce. Alabama recognizes numerous at-fault grounds for divorce, including adultery, abandonment, domestic violence, and habitual drunkenness. Deployment does not generally constitute abandonment, so you cannot typically file for divorce on the at-fault grounds of abandonment just because your spouse was sent to serve overseas. You can also choose to file for a no-fault divorce.
If the divorce is contested, the military servicemember must also be served with the divorce papers. These documents cannot be mailed.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows Alabama courts to postpone divorce proceedings until an active-duty servicemember is able to return to the state and appear in person. Servicemembers in this position can also choose to waive this right if they are comfortable handling the divorce remotely.
How Federal and Military Regulations Impact Child Custody and Child Support
In a non-military divorce, Alabama courts will seek to resolve child custody and child support conflicts in a manner that is in the best interests of the child. A court will generally take into account the child’s age, preference, educational needs, and medical needs, among other factors.
The state’s child support laws state that military servicemembers may be required to make both alimony and child support payments. However, the total support amount cannot exceed 60% of their income.
Child custody laws also emphasize that children have a right to see both parents (barring disqualifying factors). If a military servicemember is currently deployed overseas, a custody arrangement might involve ensuring a child has frequent opportunities to communicate with them remotely. When a military servicemember is frequently abroad but does return to the United States for limited windows, a custody arrangement could require visitation time when the military parent is in the country.
Individual military branches also sometimes institute their own requirements for spousal support in a military divorce. A military branch may require a servicemember to pay minimum amounts outside any enforceable Alabama court order.
Each case requires a tailored approach to child custody and child support negotiations. Our Phenix City military divorce lawyers can help you understand what to expect and, if you are currently serving, walk you through any requirements specific to your branch. We understand what is at stake and will work tirelessly on your behalf to deliver a fair resolution that protects your family and honors your rights.
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