In a recent opinion from a Virginia federal court, a husband argued that he was forced to give his ex-wife too much of his military pay in the wake of their divorce. On appeal, the court considered his argument and found that the couple’s divorce agreement clearly violated federal law. Because of this violation, the court sent the case down to a lower court to resolve the husband’s issue.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the husband and wife initially negotiated an agreement at the time of their divorce that set up how much money each party would receive. One central point of contention in the agreement was the division of the husband’s military pay. Ultimately, the parties agreed that the wife would receive a large percentage of the husband’s disposable military retired pay. A year later, however, the husband argued before a court that some aspects of their agreement violated federal law and that he wanted a court to review the order. The wife rejected this argument, stating that under Virginia law, the husband only had 21 days to challenge the order, and because that time had already passed, his challenge was no longer valid.
In response to these arguments, a court decided that it would not consider the husband’s appeal because the 21-day deadline had, in fact, already passed. The husband appealed this decision, and a higher court decided it would consider the issues the husband raised.