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Stephen P. Kelly

Stephen Kelly’s Answers

393 total


  • I am military and will retire in MD. After I retire she will get roughly 40% of my retirement -1370. I pay 2260 child support.

    When I retire does that 1370 get subtracted from the child support amount and then I pay the difference to bring it up to 2260? Or does she get 2260 plus 1370?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Military retirement pay is usually treated as a marital asset. In such case, it will be separate and distinct from child support. So, like the divisible proceeds from the sale of a marital home, she will get whatever portion of the asset to which she is entitled without regard to support and maintenance payments. Your divorce judgment governs how the retirement pay is treated and you should consult with a MD lawyer for an interpretation. From what you said, however, my guess is the retirment has been treated as marital property and it will have no effect on the child support. In other words, the court has determined that your former spouse has a 40% property interest in your retirement pay. You will thus likely have to pay both the current child support amount and 40% of your retirement pay. That said, child support is usually based on income. If you have a decrease in income, in most states, you can seek a modification of the child support order. You need to do such through the court, however. Do not reduce your payment on your own. If you do, you will find yourself significantly in arrears and still obligated to pay the full amount.

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  • DOM in Florida. Honorable discharge from military last year. Recently moved to another state to try to find work.

    Maintained constant contact with minor children. Part of our parenting plan was Xmas 2012 visitation in which I flew them out at my expense. I also was supposed to have them for a four day weekend once a month and 2 months in summer. I couldn't a...

    Stephen’s Answer

    This really isn't a military law question, but rather a question of family law (divorce, child custody, support, visitation). Its not clear whether you were divorced in Florida, but if so, then you should consult a Florida family law attorney.

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  • Will my Dismissed Disorderly Conduct affect eligibility to join one of the military branches as an officer?

    I am interested in joining the military as an officer. Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force are all of interest. This past summer i was arrested in GA for Disorderly Conduct, use of fighting words and unnecessary risk. I went through the pre tri...

    Stephen’s Answer

    It could. Expunging your state criminal record, only means that the most people won't have access to the criminal record. Your state courts, law enforcement, and some other agencies still may. It depends on your state law. Also, arrest records are maintained by the FBI and the military departments will check the FBI data base. Expungement will not affect any information maintained in Federal data bases. Finally, some pre-trial diversion dispositions, even though ultimately dismissed, are nevertheless treated as convictions by Federal agencies. This is especially so, if, as part of the negotiated disposition, you had to admit to sufficient facts.

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  • What type of POA will i need if joining the military?

    I am enlisting into the navy leaving for bootcamp and A technical school will take a 4-5 month period of being away. I have 2 children one is in school. What type of POA will i need and such other things. I am a single parent.

    Stephen’s Answer

    You typically would need an "in loco parentis" special power of attorney, if you are leaving your children with someone other than your children's other parent. Unless there is some court order restricting parental rights, you will not need any document if the other parent is available to care for your children. If the other parent is not available, then this type of power of attorney will allow a designated person to act in your place concerning school, medical treatment, etc. Unlike a guardianship, which is a judicial order, you can have the special power of attorney terminate at a specific date and you can revoke it at any time. That said, I recommend having a local attorney draft this type of power of attorney as there may be unique state law requirements. In Massachusetts, for instance, there is a specific statute that authorizes "Caregiver Authorization Affidavits" for this purpose.

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  • What is the time frame to bring a lawsuit against the military or individual from the military ?

    Wrongfully Discharge and is seeking justice

    Stephen’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Cassara. One prerequisite to filing suit is that you need to first exhaust your administrative remedies. That is, if you've been involuntarily discharged, you first need to bring your case to your services Discharge Review Board and the Board for Correction of Military Records. If your discharge is part of a court-martial sentence then you need to go through the militay appellate courts. If you do feel you have been wronged your best bet is to first discuss your case with an attorney who practices military law.

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  • Naturalization for spouse of US military member

    I married to US military member September 2010. We lived overseas together 1 year during his tour. Then september 2011 I received my conditional green card to come to US due to husband's duty. I have been residing in the US for 2 years and married...

    Stephen’s Answer

    I have changed the practice are for your question to Immigration Law. This is really a question of immigration law rather than military law. Hopefully, immigration attorneys will now see your question and give you an appropriate response.

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  • I received a 3 day order to quit due to drug activity. No arrests have been made due to drugs I'm not on the lease. Do I have to

    Do I have to leave in there days.

    Stephen’s Answer

    There doesn't seem to be a military law question here, so I reclassified your question as a Landlord/Tenant issue. Hopefully, practitioners in that field will now see it and answer your question.

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  • How can I prevent my wife from getting my military benefits?

    I am in DEP programm waiting for be shipped for basic training. However, I do not want my wife getting any benefits other than tricare health insurance. When I get paid, can she claim anything else like Basic housing allowance or food allowance wi...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You will have a military duty to support your dependents, including your wife. If you don't, you could be subject to discipline. Each service has its own guidelines on what that amount should be absent a court order. If you and your wife are estranged, you should take steps to end your marriage before entering active duty.

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  • Does a Veterans club have the right to give me days out for something i did not do on or around their property?

    I, along with 5 others, went off site and made a video of a bar- maid spilling her guts about the commander stealing funds from the club. She told when and how. We then mailed it to 5 member Veterans. They, the men in charge, are either going to b...

    Stephen’s Answer

    This is not a military law question. I have re-posted it under contracts law. Since this is a private club, your membership rights are determined by the contractual relationship you have with the club.

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  • I am an older veteran. I recently got a VA loan.

    My wife never wanted to be on the deed or the loan. I qualify with the loan with my income alone. She wants to do a quit claim and be off the loan. Is there anyway to do this without refinancing?

    Stephen’s Answer

    I've posted your question in the real estate forum so it will be viewed by practitioners that may be more knowledgeable. Although real estate is not my practice area, my understanding is that a quit claim will be insufficient to relieve your wife of responsibility under the loan. You will likely need to get the lender and guarantor's approval or refinance with a different lender.

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