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D.C. Area Military Law Blog

Property division during a military divorce

Military divorces can be fraught with challenges in addition to those that divorcing couples might face during the civilian divorce process. The legal process, however, provides resources to help guide divorcing military spouses every step of the way as they resolve divorce-related issues during their divorce including property division concerns.

The divorce process can be tough but it helps for divorcing couples in Virginia, including military couples, to understand what to expect. One concern many couples will having during the divorce process is property division. In general, Virginia follows equitable property division rules which means that property will be divided fairly. This does not necessarily mean the property will be divided in half as it is in some other states. It means that the court will look to a property division settlement that is fair to both parties.

Understanding security clearance travel reporting requirements

It is important for those who have a security clearance to keep in mind the self-reporting requirements associated with their security clearance. One category of self-reporting that those holding a security clearance are expected to report on is any and all foreign travel.

It is important that those with a security clearance let their security officer know about all planned foreign travel whether it is for personal or work-related purposes. Those with a security clearance planning on leaving the country will also then receive a travel briefing. Once the traveler has returned, they will then need to provide a detailed trip report concerning their foreign travel to their facility security officer. Any foreign travel submissions should be retained to satisfy future reporting requirements.

Everything to know about a military divorce

Military divorces can present unique circumstances it is important to be sensitive to. There are different options to handle divorce including divorce court but also mediation and arbitration options that divorcing military couples should be familiar with that can provide a more efficient, less costly and less acrimonious option.

In addition, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides important protections service members, their spouses and families should be familiar with. There are a number of important concerns divorcing military families and spouses may have so it is helpful to be familiar with each and the resources available through the family law process to help divorcing military spouses resolve their concerns in a way that protects the interests of the spouses.

Laws regarding jurisdiction in Virginia child custody situations

Throughout your military career, you've no doubt encountered various challenging situations, especially in relation to your active-duty services and your family life. You may have already a military family care plan in place that helps you keep stress levels as low as possible when trying to fulfill your obligations in the U.S. military and provide for your children's best interests at the same time.  

No matter how well organized you thought you were, however, nothing could have prepared you for the moment your former spouse took your child from Virginia to a location abroad and failed to bring him or her back to the United States at the agreed upon time. After you recovered from the initial shock of realizing that a parental abduction had taken place, you likely wondered how the situation could have happened and what type of support is available to help you find recourse.  

Understanding the different types of military discharge

There are two broad categories of military discharges including an honorable discharge and a dishonorable discharge. There are a variety of circumstances, both good and bad, that my lead to a servicemember's separation from the military so it is helpful for them to understand what those circumstances are.

Servicemembers may have strong feelings about the discharge process so it is helpful for them to be familiar with what the process looks like. There are generally two types of discharge which can either be administrative or punitive. An honorable discharge is considered an administrative discharge and might be for a failure to maintain military standards of weight, fitness, dress or appearance; or a failure to progress in the servicemember's training; or for receiving minor disciplinary infractions. An other than honorable discharge may also be possible so servicemembers should understand what those circumstances look like as well.

Marijuana, other drugs, can spell trouble for military members

As this blog has addressed on previous occasions, soldiers and sailors in the United States armed forces are subject to a special set of laws called the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ.

Even if their behavior is perfectly legal under state law, service members who violated the UCMJ can face serious penalties, including the possibility of a discharge under less than honorable conditions. In serious cases, a soldier or sailor may even face a formal court martial and, with it, the possibility of what amounts to a criminal conviction and imprisonment at a military facility.

What is military law?

If you or a loved one is engaged in military service, you may have wondered what military law refers to so it can be helpful to take a look. In its most basic sense, military law refers to the legal structure that governs military personnel.

Military law covers topics including the conduct of service members during training or while on active duty; protections for military spouses; and the reentry of service members into civil society after their duty comes to an end. The Uniform Code of Military Justice governs the conduct of service members while in training or on active duty. It includes 60 activities military members cannot engage in while in the military. There are different types of potential consequences military members may face for violating military law including dishonorable discharges; court martials; and non-judicial punishments.

Divorce in the military: Things you should know

Whether or not married couples with one or both spouses serving in the U.S. military get divorced more than their civilian counterparts is not as relevant as whether there are sufficient resources available to help you if you are one of many spouses in the military or married to a member of the armed forces who is considering filing for divorce.

When trying to figure out if you want to stay in your marriage and overcome your problems, it may help to learn more about what types of issues most often cause stress for military spouses. Beyond that, it's also a good idea to know where to seek support if a particular problem arises, especially if you're headed for divorce.

What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides many important protections for military members that they should be familiar with. Military members may have questions as to how the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) can impact their divorce.

The SCRA includes legal protections for military members related to housing, loans and other consumer protections and civil legal actions brought against them. A divorce petition is a type of civil legal action that may be brought against a military member or civilian. In circumstances involving military members, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act can suspend or postpone civil legal actions against military members to allow military members to focus on their duties serving the country.

Basics of determining security clearance

Security clearances are extremely important in many jobs, including some military jobs. In order to view classified information, a security clearance is required. To receive a security clearance, the appropriate personnel security background investigation must be completed.

A determination for granting a security clearance is based on the personal and professional history of the individual applying for a security clearance. The individual's background must indicate they are loyal to the United States; that they possess strength of character; are trustworthy, honest and reliable; and possess both discretion and sound judgment. They must also be free from conflicting allegiances. Lastly, they must be willing and able to abide by regulations that govern the use, handling and protection of classified information.

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