Accomplished Military Divorce Lawyers in Knoxville
Helping service members throughout Tennessee
The decision to end your marriage is a deeply personal one, and certain challenges are bound to arise when two people decide that their partnership is no longer working. When one or both spouses serve in the armed forces, however, there are hurdles and challenges to face that civilians couples do not experience. Attorney Jim LaFevor is a former U.S. Army Captain who has spent the last 40 years helping military families through the divorce process. Together with Attorney Patrick Slaughter, the law office of LaFevor & Slaughter provides comprehensive legal guidance and services to military men and women who live or are stationed in Knoxville, Tennessee of the surrounding areas.
The importance of jurisdiction and residency
When you file for divorce in Tennessee, you must meet the residency requirements in order to move forward in the process. Many military retain their home of record while relocating during their service. This can be a problem for many military families if they are stationed in the state but not official residents of, or have not lived here long enough. In order to file for divorce, you must either be a resident (six months) or you must have been stationed here for at least one year to raise a presumption of residence.
Jurisdiction – where you file – also plays a role. Your jurisdiction should be determined by:
- Where the spouse filing for divorce claims residency
- Where the military spouse is currently stationed
- Where the military member claims legal residency, as in where that person pays his or her taxes, registers to vote, has driver’s license or does the banking (those types of things)
If you and your spouse move to Tennessee because you are stationed at Arnold Air Force Base, and then six months later you decide to get divorced, you may have to file in the state you moved from. If you are unsure where to file, our skilled military divorce lawyers can help you determine your jurisdiction and residency.
Asset division and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act
Tennessee is an equitable distribution state, meaning that your assets are divided justly or equitablly – but not necessarily equally – when you divorce. Retirement funds and pensions are considered martial property even if only one spouse contributes to them. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (FSPA), the spouse of an active duty, reserve or veteran service member may be entitled to part of his or her spouse’s retirement fund. The same Act also allows former spouses to claim survivor benefits even after a divorce.
At LaFevor & Slaughter, we know firsthand what kinds of challenges military families face. We guide you through the process and create options designed with your goals and best interests at heart. We are skilled negotiators who aim for an efficient resolution to your problems, but we do not back down when an aggressive approach is needed. We focus on the fight so you can focus on moving forward.
Skilled representation for military men and women facing a divorce
Military families face unique challenges that civilians do not. The experienced divorce attorneys of LaFevor & Slaughter in Knoxville can ensure that you will not face those challenges alone. To learn more about our legal services for members of the armed forces, or to schedule a consultation time, please call us at 865.272.4454 or fill out our contact form.