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Military Spousal Support Attorneys In Fairfax

Understanding Family Support After Divorce In Northern Virginia

Like civilian divorces, military divorces may require the divorced service member to pay spousal support to their ex-spouse. Unlike civilian divorces, however, each branch of service has outlines defining what adequate support may equate and how payments may be handled by the divorced member. At the Law Offices of Michael Kevin Murphy, PLLC, our office has a vast understanding of the state laws pertaining to divorce, as well as the federal laws enacted by the military services that define spousal support and benefits. Our firm has over 30 years of experience in providing quality representation to our clients, and we may be able to help you, too.

If you are divorcing as a military member, or if you are a spouse divorcing a service member, call (703) 343-9539 today and schedule a consultation with our Fairfax military spousal support attorneys.

How The Branches Define Adequate Support

Military divorces require, in some part, a form of adequate payment to spouses for support post-divorce. While the general understanding is that family support should be provided, each branch outlines a different definition of what “adequate” may mean. Federal laws do require military members to satisfy all spousal support obligations, and active duty pay may be allotted to satisfy the needs of the agreements.

The branches define adequate pay as:

  • Army: Soldiers are required to pay the allotment of basic housing allowance with dependents under the Army Regulation 608-99.
  • Air Force: Air Force Instruction 36-2906 states that individual command or family law courts can determine the adequacy of an amount to be paid given the circumstances of the case.
  • Navy and Marine Corp: The Naval Personnel Manual and a separate U.S.M.C. regulation allows commands to determine what adequate support may be when there are no court-ordered amounts. These amounts may vary depending on the number of dependents.
  • Coast Guard: COMDTINST M1600.2, Discipline and Conduct, Chapter 2.E Support of Dependents, section 2.E.1.a. requires commanding officers to direct the amount of support to be provided when there is no court order or agreement of the member and his/her spouse.

Different allotments and circumstances may be considered for National Guard members and reservists that are called to active duty. To best understand the amount you may owe or the amount that you may receive, it is always suggested that you work with attorneys that understands military codes and the state laws as they pertain to divorce and spousal support.

Understanding Military Benefits For Divorced Spouses

Unlike spousal support, military retirement benefits (except for sharing in the member’s military retired pay) are not granted to spouses unless the spouse meets the criteria of the 20/20/20 rule. Here if the member and his/he spouse had been married for 20 years, the service member served for 20 years, and the marriage and the military service overlapped by at least 20 years the 20/20/20 rule will be satisfied. Benefits may include commissary and exchange privileges, retention of military identification, and TRICARE benefits.

Importantly, though, the 20/20/20 rule does not apply to a division of the member’s military retired pay between the member and his or her spouse. Therefore, a military spouse may be awarded a share of the member’s military retired pay or retired pay expectancy even if the marriage lasted well less than 20 years.

Learn More About Your Rights By Calling The Law Offices Of Michael Kevin Murphy, PLLC

Military divorces can be complicated and there are a lot of questions that pertain to spousal support, child support, custody, and visitation. At the Law Offices of Michael Kevin Murphy, PLLC, we know that this time in your life can be confusing but our dedicated team of Fairfax military divorce lawyers could help.

For more information on how our office can provide you with peace of mind, call us at (703) 343-9539 and schedule a consultation with our office. We serve clients throughout Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Arlington, and Stafford Counties and the City of Alexandria in Northern Virginia.

Why Hire Law Offices of Michael Kevin Murphy, PLLC?

  • Our Attorney is a former U. S. Army officer.

  • Our firm is award winning & top rated.

  • We serve clients domestically & internationally.

  • Located close to the Fairfax County Courthouse.

  • We have over 30 years of legal experience.

  • Michael and his staff made this process very easy for me. The entire staff was amazing throughout the process.

    “Any time I had question it was immediately answered.”

  • When I think of Mr. Michael K. Murphy words like top-tier, superlative, exemplary, first-class, and second to none immediately come to mind.

    “I could not have made a better decision in choosing him to represent me.”

  • He understands the lives and needs of service members and their families and I would say he is one of the best

    “I came to Mike under these circumstances and can definitively say that he is exactly the kind of confident, competent and aggressive family law attorney you need in a crisis.”


  • I found Mr. Murphy's staff so welcoming and helpful through this entire process that it made an extremely stressful time a little less difficult.

    “He assisted me in drafting a Marital Separation Agreement that my (now) ex husband and I were able to come to agreement in signing, just over a month after we initiated the process. ”


  • I never dreamed a settlement this favorable was possible, but Mike and his team made it a reality.

    “Mike Murphy and his team helped me negotiate a very favorable divorce settlement.”


  • I was blessed to have you and your team to represent me, it was worth every penny!

    “You all showed that you had my needs and desires at the forefront. ”


  • Thank you so much for all your hard work and for being there to support our emotional needs.

    “I am very impressed with the professionalism your firm displayed. ”


  • Your validation has pulled his life out of quicksand.

    “You've given him hope and thoughts of a productive future. He has reason to persevere.”


  • As a former army ranger, he has a profound understanding of the nuances in military lifestyle and legal considerations and that understanding was of great benefit to me at every juncture.

    “I highly recommend Michael Murphy and his team to anyone who requires any service in family law, but particularly to military members who have any family law concern.”

    Cory L.

  • Thank you so much for all your time, devotion, and care throughout this critical time.

    “I hope we can stay in touch throughout the years.”