Family Legal Issues - The Essentials

Life happens. And when it does, you want to be ready. Organizing legal affairs and filing reams of paperwork might not top your list of favorite activities but having the right legal documents in place protects you and your family members so that some the inevitable difficulties in life don’t morph into bigger catastrophes.

Military OneSource provides guidance on a variety of legal issues, so you can:

Prepare key legal documents.

Having the necessary legal documents in place isn’t guaranteed to protect you from every accident. However, it may very well help you sleep better at night and keep you from having to compile these documents in a frenzied state should an accident strike. Start with a last will and testament, power of attorney, living will and estate plan to safeguard your family’s financial security.

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Manage the divorce process.

State law and local procedures govern divorce, but there are certain federal statutes and military regulations that may apply to your divorce, depending on where you file. Being in the military can present some additional legal issues affecting benefits like housing and supporting family members who may be separating. Military legal assistance attorneys are available to help you understand the legal implications of your divorce.

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Be proactive with child custody.

Military service can disrupt custody arrangements or visitation rights for children of divorced service members. Military OneSource can help you find an attorney who is familiar with military family child custody issues and assist you in identifying the processes and protections available to your particular case.

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Design a family care plan.

If you have a deployment in your future, be proactive and create a family care plan. Include information such as child care guidance, medical care information, parenting responsibilities, contact information and important documents. Family care plans are required if you're a single parent or a dual-military family with children younger than 19. Legal assistance offices can offer advice and review your plan with you.

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