Military Divorce in North Carolina

A military divorce in North Carolina is different from a non-military proceeding in some important ways. There are unique rules for responding to the complaint for divorce, jurisdictional issues that may arise, questions about the military pension and other considerations that are unique to the military.

At Remington & Dixon, we handle military divorce cases in North Carolina. Whether you are a military member or a spouse, we can represent you and protect your interests. If you are deployed, you don’t need to be physically present in North Carolina for us to represent you. Contact us now to discuss your situation with an experienced divorce lawyer.

Key Issues in Military Divorce in North Carolina

Things that may be especially important for a military divorce in North Carolina are:


Military divorces usually involve multiple states. They can even involve multiple countries. You must determine where you should file your case.

The Hague Convention is a treaty that applies to member countries. Generally, child custody issues should be decided in the child’s home country — where the family last intended to remain permanently.

Often, this is a contested issue. Even within the United States, there may be questions about what state to file the case.

Service of process and a stay of proceedings

There are certain protections in the law to make sure that military members can fully participate in divorce proceedings. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act applies. It may affect requirements for service of process so that the military member is not defaulted unfairly. The law may allow a stay in court proceedings because of active military duties.

Military pension

Often, one of the most valuable assets in a military divorce is the pension. Future pension entitlement can be divided. If the marriage is at least 10 years, and it overlaps with 10 years of military service, the spouse can receive payment directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).

There is specific paperwork that must be completed. The wording of the pension division order must be precise because it can have a significant impact on the amount awarded.

Former spouse benefits

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act addresses issues that may be important to the former military spouse like TRICARE health services, access to the commissary and exchanges. Some criteria determine eligibility like the length of the marriage and overlapping periods of service.

Distance and communication

There may be challenges relating to being stationed overseas, deployment and the distance between parties that is often present in a military divorce. A custody arrangement may address transportation for visitation, and visitation periods may be for longer periods than are often used in non-military cases.

Video conferences and other methods of communication may need to be detailed in the court order. Housing changes and moving costs may also be topics of discussion.

What is a military spouse entitled to in a divorce in North Carolina?

A military spouse in a North Carolina divorce is entitled to equitable division of marital assets. If the military service member receives a basic housing allowance (BAH), the amount they receive may count as income for child support and alimony calculations.

A former spouse may have the right to child support, alimony, TRICARE, commissary and exchange, retirement pay, marital savings and personal property.

What is the 10-10 rule for military divorce?

The 10-10 rule in a military divorce allows the former spouse to receive pension payment directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) if they have been married for at least 10 years with at least 10 years of military service.

The 10-10 rule doesn’t set a standard for whether the court can divide retired pay, but only for the method of payment.

Can a divorce judgment force a military member to retire so the other spouse can have their pension?

No. A divorce can’t force a spouse to retire so the other spouse can access their pension. However, they may be awarded a share of the pension, or they could be awarded other property that is immediately available instead of the pension.

Protecting Your Rights for a Military Divorce in North Carolina

Whether you are a military service member or a military spouse, there are important things that you must do to protect your rights in divorce. The sooner you involve a lawyer, the sooner you have professional help with the jurisdictional and procedural issues that may be important.

The length of the marriage and the period of military service may be consequential. But like all divorces, you must identify the marital property and ask for an equitable distribution based on the law.

It may be especially challenging to gather evidence and investigate marital misconduct, but our law firm can assist you.

Lawyers for Military Divorce in North Carolina

We are lawyers who handle military divorces in North Carolina. If you are present in North Carolina, or if this is your home, please contact us to discuss your situation. We are taking new cases now. Please contact Remington & Dixon, PLLC at 704-247-7110 or message us online to schedule a consultation.


Are consultations free?

While we offer a free consultation on traffic matters, criminal matters, and most professional license defense cases, we charge a fee for family law consultations to personalize our consultations to your specific needs. To learn about our fee structure, please get in touch.

Where can I get legal advice?

We recommend meeting with an attorney. While there is free legal help available for North Carolina residents from pro bono resources for civil matters, and public defenders for criminal cases, the best way to access tailored advice is to hire a lawyer.

Can I hire you if I’m in another state?

This is done on a case by case basis if you are involved in a family law, criminal, or professional disciplinary matter that involves another jurisdiction.



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