Military law and benefits for Virginia families

On behalf of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC posted in Military Family Law on Wednesday, November 28, 2012.

Although entering the military can offer many securities, it can also create a great deal of confusion in regards to spousal and children benefits. Military law is the source of these problems -- it is often confusing and unfamiliar to many civilians, including those who live in Virginia. With some guidance, however, Virginias can secure those military benefits to which they are entitled.

A recent article released by the U.S. Air Force explains how many dependents of Airmen are not receiving those military benefits to which they are entitled. Those with families in Virginia and elsewhere usually do not realize that they must apply for or claim benefits prior to the actual day their family members begin basic training or technical school. The application process begins at the moment an individual becomes a part of the military, whether or not he or she has begun service.

Once Virginia families get over the initial application hurdle, they may be entitled to a plethora of benefits for family support. Both federal and state law govern benefits. Under federal law, an Airman's children have a right to several benefits whether or not they live with a non-military parent or are born out of wedlock.

Likewise, under Virginia law, military parents and their children have certain custodial protections. The Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act outlines these benefits. In particular, the act allows a court to act more swiftly than in civilian cases to issue orders regarding custody. A court can issue such orders mandating that non-military parents facilitate telephonic and other forms of communication between their children and deployed parents.

Military law governing family relationships can be confusing and overwhelming. With assistance from a qualified legal professional, however, the law can become less daunting and benefits can be more easily secured.

Source: U.S. Air Force, "New spouses, former spouses and children entitled to benefits," Debbie Gildea, Nov. 15, 2012

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