Military Divorce in Colorado – Unique Challenges and Skilled Representation

Resolving a military divorce in Colorado can present distinct challenges, particularly when it comes to issues of custody, dependent care, and other military-related matters. With over 20 years of experience, Marc Patoile and his team of knowledgeable Colorado military family law attorneys and paralegals have effectively guided service members through the complexities of military divorce cases involving dissolution of marriage or paternity.

Military divorces involve specific considerations that set them apart from other divorces. These include jurisdictional issues, relocation of children to different states, custody and parenting time concerns during a military service member’s deployment, as well as calculations for child support and maintenance. We have extensive experience in assisting active duty personnel, National Guard members, and reserve servicemembers with their divorce matters in Colorado.

Working closely with our managing partner, Aaron Barrick, a retired JAG Colonel who served as the Senior Legal Adviser and General Counsel to the Adjutant General for Colorado, Mr. Patoile and his seasoned team of family law attorneys are well-equipped to handle military divorce cases. Colonel Barrick oversaw all legal personnel in the state militia and was responsible for all state and federal legal matters affecting the national guard and its more than 4,500 military members and their families. With his background as a former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force, Colonel Barrick maintains a top secret security clearance.

In military divorces involving one or both parties serving in the military, engaging the services of an experienced Colorado military divorce attorney is crucial. Such cases often begin with jurisdictional concerns related to the application of the Service Members’ Civil Relief Act or UIFSA. Additionally, service regulations for family support and expedited determinations of support may come into play. A skilled attorney is essential for non-military spouses to navigate important documents such as Leave and Earnings Statements (LES), pay charts, and allowances.

Military retirement benefits frequently represent the most valuable asset in a military marital estate. Division of military pensions can be challenging for those unfamiliar with the unique rules governing military retirement pay, federal laws and procedures, as well as jurisdictional issues. Identifying the appropriate methods of division for a servicemember’s pension is essential, and we possess the expertise to handle the division of this unique asset. We also ensure that a retiree’s election of disability benefits does not result in a reduction of the marital share of benefits. Moreover, basing the division on a calculation tied to a specific number of years or months can yield incorrect outcomes for reservists.

Understanding the cost, benefits, and implementation of the Survivor Benefit Plan is critical in the event that the servicemember predeceases the former spouse. Divorcing parties need to be aware of application deadlines, the selection of the base amount, and how the costs of premiums will be addressed. Allocation of the dependency exemption for minor children for tax purposes, as well as designating a primary residential custodian to comply with state and federal statutes, are also significant considerations in Colorado military divorces.

The division of military retirement benefits is often a crucial aspect of a military marital estate. Many attorneys lack familiarity with military statutes and regulations, including the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SMCRA), leave and earnings statement issues, distinctions between active duty and reserve/guard retirement, and other military benefits like Tricare. The new Frozen Benefit Rule, the blended military retirement system, and the impact of military disability in divorce, including Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP), Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC), and Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Compensation, all present unique challenges. Our attorneys have developed extensive experience in military divorce jurisdiction issues, VA Disability Compensation, Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP), Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC), Uniformed Services Former Spousal Protection Act (USFSPA) Division, as well as dividing accrued leave in Colorado military divorces.

Achieving a fair division of a service member’s retirement benefits in Colorado is crucial for both parties, but few attorneys understand the intricacies of including provisions in the event of disability benefits or other indemnification arrangements. Understanding the costs, benefits, and eligibility for the Survivor Benefit Plan designation is also of utmost importance. Our skilled family law attorneys can guide clients to the appropriate resources for application, selection of the base amount, and determining who will cover the premiums.

Comprehending how Tricare medical benefits and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program affect divorcing parties is critical. Furthermore, parenting time and family care plans addressing potential deployment are paramount for parents involved in a military service member’s divorce. If you require assistance with any of these issues, we eagerly await your call to discuss your Colorado military divorce matter. Contact us now at 303-524-3393for a free telephone assessment with a skilled attorney.

Why You Need a Civilian Lawyer for Your Colorado Military Divorce

While JAG officers can provide general advice, they are unable to prepare divorce or separation documents, represent you in court, or file legal paperwork on your behalf. Although some laws applicable to military divorce align with those in civilian divorces, there are significant differences. It is crucial to hire a lawyer experienced in military servicemember divorces to represent you effectively. Ensure your civilian divorce attorney possesses extensive knowledge of military-related family law, including a strong understanding of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) and the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), as well as military retirement division issues. Military personnel or those married to military personnel must consider a few additional complexities when going through divorce. Consult our skilled Colorado Military Divorce Lawyers for a free case evaluation by calling 303-524-3393.