Military men are not like other men. PFC Dirk Vlug single-handedly offed five enemy tanks in WWII.1 Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta ran through Taliban gunfire to rescue a soldier in 2007.2 Badass military men sometimes face the same challenging personal issues mere mortals do, like divorce. Should a military man seek a military divorce lawyer? It depends.
Should I Go to a JAG Lawyer?
A military divorce lawyer can mean different things to different people. The military has an entire organization of legal scholars, the Judge Advocate General’s Corp (JAG), available to military personnel. What, exactly, do JAG attorneys do?
Judge advocates, or JAGs, help bail you out when you get picked up for overindulging off base. They help with disputes with your landlord, perform balancing tests before military strikes, represent you when you are facing a court martial, outline rules of engagement, and provide advice to your CO.
They do a lot of marvelous, important things, these JAGs. One thing they do not do well is administer family law. They simply are not trained to be experienced, court-savvy lawyers in divorces.
So if you are a military man, you do not need a military, as in a JAG, divorce lawyer.
Do I Need a Virginia Family Lawyer?
In Virginia and most other states, you are well represented in court and through all the legal proceedings by placing yourself in the hands of a family law attorney. Family law is one of many branches of law, such as
- Corporate law
- Criminal law
- Maritime law
- Tax law
A tax attorney is — and most tax lawyers will readily admit this — a lousy divorce lawyer. A maritime law attorney can help you get your boat back from Bermuda but can do almost nothing about your contested divorce.
No, for divorce you need a family law attorney. For a military man, you need a family law attorney with vast experience in military divorce.
Military Divorce in Virginia
What makes military divorce different from run-of-the-mill divorce? What if you are posted overseas but domiciled in Virginia? How do you handle that divorce?
What if your departing wife wants a huge share of your High-3 pension? Who fights for your rights?
What if you have to relocate during divorce proceedings? How do two law offices coordinate that?
What if you need to work out some crazy parenting time schedule because of your posting schedule? We’re not saying there is a heavily guarded, highly classified, massive, underground bunker in the Virginia foothills, but if there were such a bunker, and if you were stationed in it some 200 feet underground for 14 days at a time, how would you get to see your kids?
Military men need a military divorce lawyer. You need someone who has handled the unique stresses, challenges, and dilemmas men face when they juggle military life with a wife.
A civilian divorce lawyer in Virginia who has experience with military families will be able to help with all this:
- Fulfilling Virginia filing requirements
- Clarifying residency and domicile
- Zealously preserving protections for deployed service members
- Drafting the separation agreement
- Sorting out military retirement
- Protecting your healthcare benefits
- Dividing property equitably
- Calculating spousal support accurately
- Talking you through the divorce process, whether you are in NSA Newport News or NSA Naples, Italy
- Father’s and Children’s Rights
Are You Being Attacked or Harassed by Your Wife?
A common ploy employed by a bitter, divorcing wife is to pick on you for being deployed. Sniping at every aspect of your military life, your departing wife and her attorney try to make you out to be a terrible husband, negligent father, and immature man just because you are serving your country.
Sure, you feel stress most civilians do not; you sacrificed a lot to serve. She can weaponize your own patriotism to make you look bad, or, worse, make you feel bad about yourself.
With a family law attorney familiar with these unpatriotic tactics, you can rest easy. She may attack, but your attorney can defend you better than any sidearm.
The marriage may fail, but you are not a failure for choosing country above self. A good family law attorney accustomed to working with military men will never make you feel bad about your choices.
The best choice a military man can make is to select The Firm For Men for all family law matters. From divorce to defending against charges of domestic violence, we can help you retain your dignity, your stripes, and your pension. Contact us today or telephone our Virginia Beach offices at (757) 383-9184.