i. How much experience does the attorney has in dealing with military related matters? — the military is more than a lifestyle, it is its own society, complete with its own laws, rules, jurisdictions, court authority and procedures. You have to make sure that your attorney is aware of this, that he or she knows a little something about the UCMJ and The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) because these things can have a direct impact on your case and your military career. They should a lso know how your particular legal issue can have direct effect your military career, security clearance, ability to bear arms, or your ability to get a promotion.
ii. For our veterans looking for family law attorneys: They should know how deployments work and how to develop a custody or visitation plan that take deployments into consideration. Equally, they should know how your Timesharing/Parenting plan will have an effective on your military Family Care Plan.
iii. Your attorney should know what effects an order for alimony or a child support order can have on your military pay? — They should be able to tell you how certain court orders to pay support for a spouse or a child can directly affect your military pay, — if filed correctly with the Defens e Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) department. They should be able to tell you if a court order can affect your pay, even if you are currently deployed or on orders in another state or jurisdiction. The attorney should be able to address issues related to your Basic Housing Allowance (BHA) or Hazardous Duty Pay as in rather or not it should be included in your child support or alimony calculations.
vi. Lastly, the veteran should ask the attorney what he/she knows about effects of divorce or their family law matter will have on their retirement. The attorney should be able to explain to you, how much of your pension your spouse is entitled to, if any. Or what about, what benefits your civilian spouse may be entitled to after the divorce, assuming you guys have been married long enough. Again, this information may be vital to you… or it could be more vital to the other party, as it relates to your legal matter. You should definitely seek an attorney that have knowledge about these issues and also knows how to address them.