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Steven P. Shewmaker
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Steven Shewmaker’s Answers

453 total


  • How do I file a subpoena for military retirement and pay information

    I am divorced from a military active member in my decree it states I was awarded a percentage of his retirement funds. Retirement date is coming soon and I was told by Dfas the decree isn't sufficient and they need a subpeona to provide any info...

    Steven’s Answer

    No no. DFAS needs a court order signed by a judge to do this. You need a court order to divide the pension. The court order is simply a signature of the judge and the proper certified copy from the clerk. The contents are key. DFAS has specific requirements as to what the order must say and how it says it. Among other things, the order must specify that the SCRA has been followed. It must lay out a specific pension division award in a format that DFAS will accept. And there are other requirements about how this order should be drafted, seriously.

    AND in addition to all that, there is a DD Form that must accompany the order.

    If none of this sounds familiar, you probably need a lawyer to do this, because otherwise you may end up doing it a few times and frustrating DFAS and the judge. Trust me, we do these all the time, and they can be tricky for the unfamiliar.

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  • Filed for divorce against my Active Duty Military husband. He has not responded, what can I Do?

    I have filed for divorce. my husband is active duty military. I had him served.. he is not deployed.. but he has not responded. Since i can't default what can i do? Also i know mediation is an option for the marital agreement.. But if he refuses t...

    Steven’s Answer

    Yes, you can immediately hire a good military divorce attorney. In your neck of the woods, seek out Paul Ryan or John Schweitzer. Do it now. Stop looking for quick and easy fixes on Avvo. The steps you take now can effect the rest of your case, your final divorce and the rest of your life. People who think that attorney's a re a waste of money or who think they are smarter than everybody else go down in flames. Don't go down in flames. Act smart now.

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  • Can I get kick out to the military?

    I Had Some Incidents of coming late to work do to the fact that I was dealing with a heavy amount of stress, so I got counsel several times. I broke a first sergeants counseling and now I am in deep trouble. I never had an an article 15 or had any...

    Steven’s Answer

    Your commander has a great deal of discretion in dealing with you. Based on what you have said, it sounds like they could give you an Article 15 or administratively separate you (boot you out!). If they do this, they will seek to do this for a pattern of misconduct substantiated by your lateness and your violation of the First Sergeant's counseling terms given to you. If they seek to separate you and seek an honorable or general under honorable conditions characterization and you have less than six years of total service (as Mr. Cassara indicates), then the command can separate you with impunity. You cannot stop it.

    What you need to do is immediately straighten up. You need to seek an audience with your First Sergeant and convince him that you have been through tough times, may need some rehab counseling and demonstrate that you are worthy of saving. The military is steeply downsizing now, and commanders are looking for ways to thin their ranks. Stop being an easy target. Good luck to you.

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  • Military divorce for lesbian couple

    I enlisted in the navy and ship out in two months. my wife and I are separated but legally still married she lives in Texas I live in south Carolina, boot camp is in Illinois and my A school is in Florida. we originally wanted divorce but she want...

    Steven’s Answer

    This could be complicated for you. The rules for divorce vary from state to state. With heterosexual marriages there are varying rules from state to state, but mostly they are pretty close. For example, many states require that you or your spouse have lived in that state for 180 days before the court has jurisdiction to divorce you. That is the rule in Georgia where I practice, but in other states it may be 1 year or only 90 days. So, you need to see the rules of your state. Now, in a few days this all may change (God willing!!) but right now, same sex marriages are problematic. Some states, again like Georgia, are not very enlightened, so some may not even entertain a divorce of a same sex couple because the "Great" state of Georgia won;t recognize your marriage in the first place. Many other states - like the one where you got married - do. Still, some states that would grant you a same sex divorce require that you live there for a minimum period of time; others may be more flexible just because you are a same sex couple in these times of transition. Three things I can tell you for certain. (1) Seek out an experienced local domestic law attorney who knows a thing or two abut same sex marriages and divorces. (2) This is most decidedly NOT a MILITARY LAW QUESTION; the military recognizes you as a married same sex couple and has since last October. The problem is that the military and the federal government do not control the vast body of state laws on divorce - the states do. And (3) NOW THIS MAY ALL CHANGE IN TWO WEEKS, and let's hope it does.

    Good luck to you..

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  • My father passed away in December of 2014. He was a retired veteran of the US Army reserves. Is his family due any benefits?

    My father did not have an insurance policy through the military as he let it lapse. He was receiving SSI disability and retirement from the military at the time of his death. I am constantly bombarded by his family in regards to the benefits tha...

    Steven’s Answer

    One call, that's all: Drew Early.
    770.939.1939

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  • I have a soldier who had a rank suspension from E4 to E3. He is still getting paid E4, but wears the E3 rank. I am trying to fin

    Soldier was also given 14/14.

    Steven’s Answer

    Not exactly sure about the question. Probably best for the Soldier to address it with his unit or Trial Defense.

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  • Can I file for a divorce if I am unemployed, in school full time and still living my spouse?

    I haven't worked in 8 years and still have 1 year left in school.

    Steven’s Answer

    Yes you can file. Anyone legally married - who has not been declared legally incompotent - can file for a divorce.

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  • What are my options?

    I was being chaptered out the army under a chapter 13 and was told by the commander that I would be chaptered under a chapter 13 with a honorable discharge. Today I was informed that my commander changed my chapter at the last minute to a chapter ...

    Steven’s Answer

    1. Less than six (6) years means they can give you a general and all you can do is submit matters in writing - no board required. You can later apply to the discharge review board or the board of corrections, but that will only work if there is a clear error now or later on possibly.

    2. Only the VA can tell you if you will not get your VA / GI Bill benefits.

    3. Yes, the command can switch course like this, so long as they have a preponderance of evidence warranting the chapter they seek to impose. They can make even harsher decisions, like the choice to go with a chapter 14 versus a medical discharge.

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  • Will an increase in disability compensation pay affect Military Division Order from my divorce? Order says disability is mine.

    Divorced in 2012. Ex wife was awarded 50% of my RETIREMENT PAY in property division. I was awarded 100% of my DISABILITY COMPENSATION PAY. Military Division Order specifically states that she is NOT entitled to receive ANY portion of my disability...

    Steven’s Answer

    The answer to your question TOTALLY depends upon the precise wording of your divorce decree and the law in Texas. No one can divine the wording on Avvo, and only an experienced Texas military divorce attorney can help. Seek out Jim (James) Higdon in San Antonio for advise or an Austin referral.

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  • I am active duty military and my wife and I are expecting. She is unable to to move due to her parenting plan for my step son.

    The father has him one a weekend and 4 hours and Tuesday and Thursday. My wife is the custodial parent. We are planning on filling for a modification with hopes that we could be reunited. We are more than willing to give him the summers and a mon...

    Steven’s Answer

    You don't really pose any questions here. Your wife can move, it's only that she may have to deal with a custody modification first. There are a lot of twists and turns here. She really must seek out an experienced military family law attorney in that area, and she needs to do it now. STOP seeking answers in this forum. This forum is great when the issues are simple and time is not a factor. The issues are complex, and time is a factor. Google military family law in your geographic area, Do this today.

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