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San Diego Military Divorce

San Diego Military Divorce

San Diego Military Divorce attorneys serving Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar & all of San Diego County from three local offices.

San Diego Military Divorce Attorney for Service Members & Spouses

If you are a military member or the spouse of a military service member and divorce seems imminent, you need a highly experienced San Diego military divorce attorney on your side to help you through the complex legal process with added complexities facing military and federal employees.

San Diego military divorce lawyer, Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Paul J. Ryan, founder of Ryan Family Law can help you file for divorce whether you are the military service member or the spouse of a military member.

20% Discount to hire San Diego military divorce

How To File for a Military Divorce?

The law generally allows the filing for divorce to take place in the state where the husband or wife has a legal residence. Because of this, the person initiating the divorce will typically file in the state where he or she lives when it is the legal residence of one or both parties. This is hardly unique to military divorce. What is unique, however, is how the state handles the division of military pensions.

According to federal law, the state of the legal residence of the military member always has the power to divide the military pension in a divorce. Therefore, if the non-military spouse files for divorce in a state that is his or her legal residence and not the legal residence of the spouse, the court might not have the authority to divide the pension.

Where To File for a Military Divorce?

Where to file for a military divorce sometimes depends on whether you are the military member or the spouse of a military member.

Military service men, women or their spouses have choices as to which jurisdiction they can file for divorce. Military service member or spouse can file for divorce in the state where the military member claims legal residence, the state where the non-military spouse resides, or file in the state where the military service member is stationed. Choosing jurisdiction is tricky and can affect the outcome of your divorce and benefits. You are always welcome to call us at (858) 222-6600 so we can help you plan a strategy best for your unique situation.

There are California Residency Requirements for Filing a Military Divorce:

  • The service member or their spouse must reside in California
  • The service member or their spouse must be stationed in California

Important – An active-duty spouse must be personally served with a summons and a copy of the divorce action in order for a California court to have jurisdiction over the active military member. A military member may elect to file a waiver affidavit, stating that they are aware of the divorce action, should a couple come to agreeance for an uncontested divorce.

MEET: Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel  (ret.) & Attorney Paul J. Ryan, Esq.

Paul Ryan, Marine Corps Lt Col  (ret)

Founder and managing attorney of Ryan Family Law, Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Paul J. Ryan has decades of actual military service followed by attending law school then becoming an attorney of nearly 30 years focused on helping military members and families.

A significant 40% of our clients are military members and spouses of service members.

Experience matters!

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San Diego military divorce Paul J. Ryan
  • Military relocations.
  • Child custody and visitation.
  • Child support & spousal support.
  • Modification of existing court orders.
  • Division of military benefits in divorce.
  • Paternity – (married or not, mother or father, please do not procrastinate)
    • We assist service members,
    • or people who have had relationships with service members with paternity tests and,
    • the establishment or denial of legally binding paternity

Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act

Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act

Military divorce is significantly different from civilian divorce. The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act (SCRA), allows the divorce process can be postponed for the entire time that a service member is on active duty and for up to 60 days thereafter. The SCRA’s purpose is to protect deployed service members from any civil obligations while they are on duty, so that they can focus on serving command and country without distraction.

US Navy member doing pushups

Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA)

Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act

There are numerous issues, unlike a civilian divorce, to address when a military member or his/her spouse decides to end their marriage.

Most of these issues are focused on continued eligibility for the commissary, exchange, health care benefits, and the service member’s retirement pay. These complex issues are addressed by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA), which is a guidebook on how to divide benefits and pensions.

uniformed services-former spouse protection act

Military Disposable Retired Pay is Treated Like a Civilian Pension

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act stipulates that military pensions are marital property that can be divided in a divorce. Under the USFSPA, state courts, including California, are granted the right to choose how or whether to divide military retirement in a divorce, legal separation, or annulment. Local family courts often treat military retired pay as they do a civilian pension plan for example, it could be divided during property settlement.

USFSPA’s 10/10 Rule

Nearly every state has statutes on how military retired pay is to be divided. Beware of the USFSPA’s 10/10 rule. The actual rule is simple. There must have been a minimum 10-years of marriage which overlap with 10 years of the military spouses’ service.

USFSPA’s 20/20/20 Rule

What is a 20 year overlap of marriage and military service?

An un-remarried former spouse may retain the military ID card if he or she meets the 20/20/20 rule. That means a 20/20/20 spouse might be eligible to continue complete health care benefits under TRICARE and commissary and exchange privileges after the divorce is finalized. The 20/20/20 rule requires at least twenty years of marriage, at least twenty years of military service, and at least twenty years of overlap of the marriage and the military service.

USFSPA’s 20/20/15 Variant

In a 20/20/15 marriage, where the marriage and service term overlap between 15 – 20 years, the former spouse is entitled full coverage for one year only. After that, reduced cost coverage through the Department of Defense is available.

Put Our Experience to Work for You

Considerations of a Military Divorce

If you are a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard — or if you are married to a service member — your divorce will have a few additional considerations. These include:

  • the benefits you are entitled to,
  • the rules having to do with those benefits
  • effects of deployment may affect your divorce proceedings.
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines & Coast Guard Logos / badges
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard

Big Decisions… Paul Ryan can Personally Help You Brainstorm Your Choices

Worry & Anxiety – Most people fretting about a military divorce cannot visualize what that will look like or how it plays out. At Ryan Family Law, we believe in talking honestly with callers considering divorce, so they know what (1) to expect after choosing to file for divorce, or (2) if you have been served divorce papers, what to expect in the weeks ahead.

We help our clients understand the law so they know their rights and give them confidence that we will help them achieve the best possible results.

We offer a no charge consultation where we discuss the issues you face and strategize with you about the best approaches to meet your goals.

Picture of woman and military member - San Diego Military Divorce Attorneys

Paul Ryan and his team are Experienced San Diego Military Divorce Attorneys

Every case is unique. We are seasoned San Diego divorce attorneys who know how to protect your rights and interests during a military divorce proceeding. We also know the importance of the myriad of military benefits, which is why we use our in-depth knowledge of family law and military divorce law to find a resolution that works for you.

Paul Ryan and his team are experienced military divorce attorneys in San Diego. We are known and respected for our compassion with clients and maximum advocacy for our client’s rights in the courtroom. When you want lawyers who will have your back, turn to our firm.

Call (858) 222-6600 to speak with San Diego Military Divorce Attorney Paul J. Ryan Today.

To schedule a FREE consultation, call (858) 222-6600 or contact us online to schedule a divorce strategy session with San Diego divorce attorney, Lt Col (ret.) Paul J. Ryan, Esq. today.

I’ve been working with Paul Ryan on a difficult case for over a year and he has been a God-send. He is smart, personable, very down to earth and a fighter. I had two terrible experiences previously with different SD firms, and hiring Paul has been a welcome breath of fresh air. I would highly recommend Paul, especially for active duty military and veterans.

Ryan Family Law Group
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Regina Villalobos
Regina Villalobos
15:38 12 Sep 22
Called for a consultation in a family law case and the lawyer was amazingly helpful a en gave me some input and guide... ace despite me not being able to afford a retainer for him at the moment. Offered me useful advice that has helped me move forward on my case and I hope to soon be able to retain him for his more
Jack Herculean
Jack Herculean
19:43 05 Sep 22
Is it typical to take 15 months to divorce without even having been to trial?
Khristina Lucas
Khristina Lucas
10:59 31 Jul 22
Attorney Paul Ryan is great! Hard working, honest and will fight for you. His paralegal Shirlene is just as great and... responds toEmails and phone calls immediately. Overall, a diligent office to have on your side!read more
Vinny Record
Vinny Record
18:59 09 Jun 22
Thank you!Great service! Very knowledgeable! Glad to know I’m going to battle with the Ryan family law team behind me!
Mike Green
Mike Green
19:57 07 Apr 22
Very professional and effective. Plus they are easy to work with. A price I was very happy to pay. Best lawyers I... have ever hired. There has been a few during a long divorce and their group is more
Sean Vanhorn
Sean Vanhorn
03:19 16 Mar 22
Great people! Fast turn around time from when I called to when I was able to talk to an attorney! Highly recommend
Nadine Martinez
Nadine Martinez
01:34 30 Jun 21
The detailed and step by step advise helped me through a nasty divorce! Thank you!
Hung Tran
Hung Tran
00:11 28 Jun 21
had consulted with Mr. Ryan He was responsive and answered my questions , was always pleasant and professional and... clearly explained my options objectively. He thoroughly reviewed and provided a realistic strategy, I was satisfied. I'd absolutely recommend mr Ryan .read more
Janet H
Janet H
23:06 03 Jun 21
Called to schedule a complimentary consultation expected to either not get a call back or, get a sales pitch. Neither... happened! Mr Ryan called me at my requested time and gave me valuable, important information. He provided me answers to specific questions regarding my situation. I now feel much more prepared and confident going forward. If you need some answers to your questions that may lead to action you take, call Paul more
Diane Kocheran
Diane Kocheran
14:57 08 Sep 20
Paul Ryan helped me to keep my Alimony after my ex husband tried to end it. Paul, along with his incredible office... staff was very honest with me, always quick to answer all my questions, quick to call me back and even gave me discounts when paying my bill on time. This law firm is incredible and I would recommend them highly. I live in Las Vegas and we did everything over the phone. The hearing was in San Diego.They really care about their clients and this was a difficult case. Thank you Paul and your entire office staff. You all are truly one of the greats and I appreciate all your hard work on my case. Thank more
19:13 26 Jul 20
Paul Ryan and Ryan Family Law did an outstanding job with my recent matter. Paul was very responsive to my inquiry and... matched me with one of his excellent attorneys, Paula. Paula was extraordinary! She was professional and conscientious. She developed a successful strategy and assisted me throughout the process and ultimately achieved exceptional results. I would recommend Ryan Family Law to anyone facing a family law matter!read more
Shawn Velasquez
Shawn Velasquez
00:13 10 Jun 20
Paul Ryan is awesome veteran attorney willing to help veterans. He took the time to call me back and go over my case... with me even on the weekend! I would recommend him and I'm definitely keeping his contact in my phone more
Estrellita McIlrath
Estrellita McIlrath
01:58 09 May 20
I could not be more impressed by the actions of the Ryan Family Law Firm. I contacted them on a weekend and was... expecting a call or email on Monday, but instead I was called within the hour and the plan to resolve my issue immediately started. I look forward to continuing to work with Paul, Paula and the rest of the firm and I have no doubt they will give me exactly what I want. Paula did an amazing job representing me and giving me a taste of what is to more
Patty OConnor
Patty OConnor
00:26 29 Feb 20
Paul Ryan is bright, very experienced and will have your back 100%. He is a great attorney who is able to explain the... ins and outs of family law with clarity. He also is a man with a great deal of integrity - you can definitely trust Paul with your case. Highly more
Scott Goodman
Scott Goodman
04:49 22 Nov 19
I have nothing but great things to say about Ryan Family Law. As the respondent in a divorce action, Ryan Family Law... (Paul Ryan, founder) consulted with me very thoroughly and my attorney (Paula) was just SO impressive with her attention-to-detail approach to my case. All contacts – email or phone call – made by me were always returned promptly (often in less than an hour) if my attorney was not readily available at that moment; at her end Paula kept me very, very well informed on all issues and movements associated with my case. Legal terms and common Family Law abbreviations were always explained to my satisfaction and understanding; communications with my attorney Paula or support/administrative staff was always prompt, professional and informative. Paula appeared in court alongside me or appeared on her own (as needed, recommended or prudent) and engaged opposing attorneys with tenaciousness and surgical precision on my behalf, resulting in a well-designed and favorable settlement.I would not hesitate to provide my most positive endorsement and candid recommendation for Ryan Family Law for persons wanting a tenacious and thorough approach to representing YOU for family law matters needing thoroughly professional handling and getting the highest possible probability for a favorable more
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