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Military Divorce Attorney & Legal Representation Services

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Compassionate Military Divorce Lawyers. Ardent Family Law Legal Representation.

Providing Knowledgeable Guidance and Skilled Legal Representation in the Best Interest of Our Military Clients and Their Family Throughout the Military Divorce Process.

For years, Southern California and Camp Pendleton Military Service Members have counted on Fischer & Van Thiel for their Military Divorce & Family Law needs. In addition to our Oceanside Law Office, our Family Law Firm Represents Service Area Clients in Camp PendletonNorth CountySan Marcos, Vista, and throughout the local San Diego CountyCalifornia region.

Experienced Military Family Law Divorce Attorneys Able to Successfully Navigate the Complex Military Legal Process

Military Divorce proceedings require a unique approach in the way they are handled and executed, and at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, we are committed to providing military couples with the same care and quality representation as our civilian clients, while handling their cases with the experienced and tailored representation they require.

The married men and women who serve our country are often subjected to unique situations that can make marriage an uphill battle. Unlike most civilian couples, members of our armed forces sometimes experience difficult circumstances that can put extra strain on a marriage such as long periods of separation, frequent moves, or other issues. 

Over time, even the closest couples can grow apart. Many partners eventually reach a point at which it becomes necessary to go their separate ways. In these situations, divorce is typically the best option for moving on.

However, in addition to the already challenging aspects of a Military Divorce, whether you are the Divorcee or the Divorcer, this process can be considerably more difficult with issues such as child custody and division of property. Therefore, it is essential to have an experienced Oceanside Military Divorce Attorney Representing your Interests.

Regardless of how amicable your divorce is, whether you are the Divorcee or the Divorcer, dealing with the legal matters necessary to finalizing a divorce can be difficult. This is particularly true when other complexities are introduced, such as a spouse who lives in another country.

Fortunately, with the help of an experienced Military Divorce Attorney, you can finalize your divorce while effectively resolving all the issues and disputes along the way. Our team at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP is dedicated to helping Camp Pendleton Military Service Members find the resolutions they need without extensive courtroom litigation to begin moving on with their lives.

Give us a call at (760) 722-7646 or contact us to schedule your Free Consultation.

Military Divorce Paperwork Filing Considerations

If you are currently on leave for active duty, there are several options available if you wish to file for divorce.

Filing Consideration can include:

  The state where you currently reside.
  The state where the military member is stationed.
  The state that the military member has their as their legal residency.

Divorce proceedings are subject to the laws of the state in which papers are filed. The laws in this state will also determine child custody, child support, and property division.

At Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, we ensure our clients fully understand the implications of where they file for divorce and that the couple is fully aware of all terms and conditions set forth in the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act.

This Act determines legal awards, such as military pay, retirement pension, and child support, that are provided to the ex-spouse of a service member following a divorce.

Give us a call at (760) 722-7646 or contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Calculating Spousal Marital Share for Active Military Members

The amount of pension which a former spouse is entitled to depend on a variety of calculations.

There are different methods of calculating this percentage and the document filed with the court must clarify the formula used in order to come up with the proposed amount of payment.

Three Methods of Calculating Pension Payments:

Net Present Value – most commonly used if a spouse wants a form of buyout upfront.
Deferred Distribution – a share amount is calculated during the divorce, but the receipt of funds is deferred until the service member retires.
Reserve Jurisdiction – the most common method which shares the former spouse’s receives and is calculated at retirement.

Direct retirement payments are also made available through the Defense Finance and Accounting Services. In order for a former spouse to be eligible to receive direct retirement payments, the couple must have been married 10 years overlapping 10 years of service.

For example, if a couple was married for 15 years, and one spouse was in the military for 8 of those years, the other spouse would not be entitled to direct payment of DFAS.

If the same couple was married for 12 years and the military spouse was active for 10 of those years, the other spouse would be entitled. This requirement may vary depending on the state law, however California requires a 10 year service period.

If the non-military spouse does not qualify for the DFAS that does not completely eliminate their eligibility.

To receive a portion, the criteria and basis for direct retirement payments would need to be outlined in the divorce settlement agreement.

Military retired pay can also be accounted for separately or in addition to child or martial support. There is a maximum amount of pension income a former spouse can receive, which is capped at 50% of the military retirement pay.

Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act

The USFSPA was created as a response to earlier legislation denying states the ability to regulate the status of military member’s assets.

The Act guides the military to accept state statues on addressing issues such as child custody, military pension and pay, and child and marital support.

While states have always had the power to treat retirement and pension plans just like any other marital asset, the USFSPA permits the states to classify military retired pay as property, as opposed to income.

Different Types of Divorce Proceedings

Depending on the circumstances of their unique situation, a couple, Military or Civilian, may pursue a divorce in a number of different ways. At Fischer & Van Thiel, we handle them all.

Our Divorce Legal Service Team Assists Clients with the Following:

Collaborative Divorces
Contested Divorces
Uncontested Divorces
Divorce Modifications

Mediated Divorces
Simplified Divorces
Same-Sex Divorces
Military Divorces

No matter which of these types of divorce you feel is right for you, it is always best to have an experienced and knowledgeable Divorce Lawyer on your side, guiding you through the often frustrating divorce process making sure your interests are represented every step of the way.

Causes of Irreconcilable Differences

“Irreconcilable differences” is a term used when neither spouse is at fault for a divorce. In many of these cases, the couple simply cannot agree on some fundamental issues and the spouses are subsequently struggling to maintain the foundations of their marriage.

Some of the issues that may lead to an irreconcilable differences divorce include:

Financial struggles
Physical separation
Disagreements overwork

Political differences
Religious differences
Domestic issues

Seeking the advice of a legal professional can help you better understand the many complexities associated with divorce and help ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce in San Diego occurs when both parties agree on how they will settle the terms of their marriage. Most often, couples will choose the option to save on time and expense, as it can help can help reduce the cost in comparison to divorce litigation.

Contested divorce, on the other hand, is often fraught with issues that can often be more highly disputable. You may not be able to come to an agreement with your spouse, and thus it may require more time to define and pursue your goals.

Experienced Divorce Attorneys You Can Count On

Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP provides over 57 Years of Combined Family Law Counsel Experience dedicated to Your Family through the Military Divorce Legal Process.

Military Divorce is rarely a simple matter, due to military obligations and logistics, but when the spouses pursuing divorce are parents, it can become much more complicated.

Finding a reasonable balance that respects the rights of both parents and protects the interests of the children can often be difficult.

At Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, we know the importance of a Child’s Welfare and the damage it can cause if a person does not get the arrangement they want or feels is best for their children.

For this reason, it is typically best to have a lawyer who is intimately familiar with military family law and divorce issues representing your interests. Our Divorce Attorneys have the skill and experience needed to effectively resolve your case, protect You and Your Families Interests.

Partnering with the Best Military Divorce Lawyers who have expert experience understand the Family Law Legal System in San Diego County, who is attentive to your family’s needs, is always your best Legal Strategy. Give Fischer & Van Thiel a call at (760) 722-7646 or contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Local Service Area Customer Testimonial Reviews

Child Custody Legal Services Revew

"Thank you, Michael Fischer, you really are great at what you do."


"Going through a very stressful time Michael Fischer really helped me through it all. He helped me fight my case and took a lot of weight off my shoulders in order to get full custody of my son. He reported back to me all the updates with my case and ended up winning my case!

- Former Client, Oceanside California

Child Custody Legal Services


"Thanks, Thomas!"


"He was there every step of the way. Helped make this custody situation a little more bearable. Thank you, Tom and Linda."- Maria, Oceanside, CA

Divorce Legal Services


"They're very dependable, knowledgeable, and experienced."


"The Fischer & Van Thiel Firm is a great firm. They're very dependable, knowledgeable, and experienced. I definitely recommend them."

- Elizabeth G., Oceanside, CA

Family Law Legal Services


"This office is really good, thanks for everything."


- Patti A., Oceanside, CA

Divorce & Ongoing Family Law Services


"Friendly and knowledgeable — I highly recommend them!"


- Allison O., Oceanside, CA

Family Law Legal Services


"Friendly and knowledgeable — I highly recommend them!"


- Allison O., Oceanside, CA

Family Law Legal Services


"Fischer & Van Thiel is a very knowledgeable office and great to work with!"


- Chelsey G., Oceanside, CA

Why Choose Fischer & Van Thiel, PC

Experienced & Caring Family Law Attorneys


  • Over 57 Years of Combined Legal Practice Experience

  • Available by Appointment, Phone & Video Consult

  • Complimentary 30 Minute Family Law Consultations

  • Committed to Protecting Your Rights & Privacy

  • Always Serving You & Your Children’s Best Interests

  • Affordable & Friendly Family Law Divorce Lawyers

About Our Law Firm

Contact Us Today! or Call Us at (760) 722-7646


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Oceanside, CA Office

Fischer & Van Thiel, PC
2424 Vista Way Suite 200
Oceanside, CA 92054
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Ph: (760) 722-7646

Oceanside Business Hours:

Mon-Fri:   8am - 5pm
Sat & Sun:   Closed