Military personnel carry no exemption from the family-related travails that visit their civilian brothers and sisters. Many of them are separated or divorced. They have, or want to obtain, custody or wish to exercise visitation rights. They might be paying support, be behind on support, or be in need of receiving adequate support. When property division occurs, either in negotiations or at trial, the issue of military pension division looms large and is puzzling for most because, like many other domestic relations issues involving military personnel, the rules are counterintuitive and often illogical.
Custody is a particularly thorny problem when a military parent is added to the dispute.
How does the high level of mobility affect the child of a military parent?
If a wife leaves her military husband overseas to avoid an abusive situation, taking the children with her, is that considered an international kidnapping?
Can a servicemember stymie the court process in determining custody by requesting a stay of proceedings because he or she is overseas, unable to take leave?
How do you determine the residence of a child for custody jurisdiction purposes when the child is constantly being geographically moved?
What is the best visitation arrangement when the military parent might be nearby, halfway across the continent, or halfway around the world in the next six months or even six years?
These are merely a few of the military-related nuances that are brought to custody and visitation, just one area of family law. The complexities pervade the entire spectrum of family law matters: divorce, child support, alimony, pensions, and property division.
It is crucial to have the right “designated agent” for payments and procedures. DFAS is the only agent for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
To contact DFAS :
Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Director
ATTN: Code L
PO Box 998002
Cleveland, Ohio 44199-8002