Military Members & Spouses Overcoming Adversity

Sign celebrating Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

There is a good Forbes article this week entitled Why Companies Should Hire Military Spouses, A ‘Very Misunderstood Talent Pool’. Anyone who has spent any time with the military can attest to the sacrifices that a military spouse must make for the sake of the member’s career.

A soldier or airman can move every 3-4 years and settle right into a new unit in a position he/she is completely suited for, surrounded by fellow warriors who themselves are not native to wherever they happen to live. Sure,  moving is a hassle, once settled in, the military member is at “home.” At least until it’s time to deploy, and the member’s life is on the line, working long hours in a miserable, hot place fighting for our nation.

The spouse, on the other hand, typically has to fly with the kids, settle them into school, wrangle with the moving company over the household goods shipment (which may take months for an overseas PCS), set up the house, and then fight yet again when property is broken or missing. And naturally, a good military spouse is then expected to support the member’s career, taking care of the kids when they are sick, volunteering for family readiness groups, and taking care of home and family when the member deploys.

But the impact upon a spouse’s career is perhaps the most challenging. As the family PCS’s, the member is periodically promoted, sent to schools, and earns more. Meanwhile, the spouse is uprooted every few years, finding it next-to-impossible to settle into a career. And if the family is on an overseas tour, that is especially true. And the statistics in the article tell of their sacrifices: 28% of military spouses are unemployed, and another 55% are underemployed – educated men and women who have to obtain low-level employment because they cannot find suitable work.

Often, military spouses are faced with the harsh reality of state licensing schemes, by which so many professions, lawyer, realtor, teacher, etc, need to re-license in each state where they practice – costing time and money. (Plus, who wants to spend their lives studying for and taking tests?) Fortunately, there are some efforts to improve the lot of military spouses. I’ve known several lawyers married to military members, for example, and now thanks to the efforts of groups such as the Military Spouses JD Network, 32 states have adopted a model rule which allows lawyer-spouses to practice temporarily in a state where the family is stationed.

But even those fortunate enough to obtain suitable employment can testify to the disruption that constant PCS’s has on their career – when they move, they tend to lose whatever seniority the may have earned, and start at the bottom. And while employers may be seeking a long-term employment relationship, a military spouse is likely to move on in a few years (or less).

If the marriage ends, the law helps out. Each of the services has a regulation requiring members to provide support to family members pending a court order. And Colorado maintenance laws help to some degree. The law may require maintenance (“alimony”) to a lower-income earning spouse, which will help to get her feet back on the ground. But this is a short-term fix, and over time is unlikely to make up for the career sacrifices of a military spouse.

At Graham.law, we respect and support the military community, and that most assuredly includes spouses. Not only do we represent members and spouses in dissolution cases, but we put our money where our mouth is – most of our firm are veterans, family members, or both. And in hiring military spouses, we have tapped an excellent source of talent:

  • Cindi Gregory, our senior paralegal, is an Air Force veteran (first security forces, then as a paralegal), and a military spouse whose husband is an Air Force recruiter.
  • Corinna Cabrera, our other family law paralegal, is a former military spouse whose veteran husband was an Army scout and is now a DOD contractor.
  • Megan Bent, a family law attorney, is a military spouse married to an Air Force pilot.
  • Tracy Kellett, our firm administrator, is both a veteran (Army psyops), and a military spouse whose husband is in the 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson.
  • Carl Graham, our managing partner, is a veteran who spent 8 years in the Army JAG Corps, and author of the Military Divorce Guide.

Award-Winning Family Law Attorney In Colorado Springs

U.S. News & World Report calls Graham.Law one of the Best Law Firms in America, and our managing partner is a Colorado Super Lawyer. Our family law attorneys have years of experience helping clients navigate the Colorado legal system. We know Colorado divorce & family law inside and out, from complex multi-million dollar property or child custody cases to basic child support modifications.

For more information about our top-rated El Paso County family law firm, contact us by filling out the form on the right or calling us at (719) 630-1123 to set up a free consult, or click on:

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Testimonials

  • Excellent discussion; fully answered all my questions with examples I could clearly understand

    Jane Rohr Avatar
    Jane Rohr
    3/26/2020
  • Carl Graham is by far the best divorce attorney I have used and would highly recommend him to anyone who is looking for an ethical, knowledgable, fair attorney. My case was not your normal circumstanc... read more

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    Gary Oldguy
    3/17/2020
  • As a former military spouse trying to collect my share of my ex's military retirement from California when the divorce decree and all the supporting documents were filed in Colorado i was apprehensive... read more

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    Janine Pandher
    3/01/2020
  • Where do I begin? Well AFTER have a consultation with another attorney ( who made me feel as though i was undeserving of his expertise) I was extremely apprehensive when coming to Graham Law. This was... read more

    Chris Whitfield Avatar
    Chris Whitfield
    2/07/2020
  • Mr. Carl Graham, Cindi (his paralegal), and the rest of his office staff helped us with a military divorce. Mr. Graham is very knowledgeable about military ways and processes. I appreciated the fact... read more

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    Shelle Dier
    1/08/2020
  • If you are searching for a divorce lawyer, first I would like to say I’m sorry you are going through this. It isn’t and easy road. I know sometimes things just don’t work out to save your marriage. Ho... read more

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    Trevor Lisby
    11/26/2019
  • If you are searching for a divorce lawyer, first I would like to say I’m sorry you are going through this. It isn’t and easy road. I know sometimes things just don’t work out to save your marriage. Ho... read more

    Trevor Lisby Avatar
    Trevor Lisby
    10/30/2019
  • I called Graham law firm to schedule a consultation and spoke with Corinna. When beginning your search for information with any family matters there are many questions and a sense of anxiety of the u... read more

    Kathlena Williams Avatar
    Kathlena Williams
    8/26/2019
  • I was divorced in CO but moved to TX & had issues with my divorce decree from a previous attorney- after referrals from several other firms in CO regarding the best military law firm I went with Graha... read more

    Sarah DeLorean Avatar
    Sarah DeLorean
    8/26/2019
  • Very helpful initial meeting.

    Steven Babbitt Avatar
    Steven Babbitt
    6/26/2019
  • Carl and his team are awesome and super easy to work with. His knowledge is tremendous and he quickly handled my case despite me being across the country. I would do business with his team again and... read more

    Michael Brooks Avatar
    Michael Brooks
    5/26/2019
  • I was impressed by Graham Law in general but most impressed with Brian Boney. Brian is an excellent family law attorney. Attentive, detail-oriented, and hard-working, Brian surpassed my expectations f... read more

    Robert Weeks Avatar
    Robert Weeks
    5/26/2019
  • Mr. Grahm was professional, knowledgable and very prepared. He was also kind and understanding. He knew his military in's and outs. Because of this is got exactly what I was asking for... a swift a... read more

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    MAMCO STAFF
    4/26/2019
  • I had the unpleasant task of taking my ex back to court. Carl was the person for the job. His attention to detail and professionalism got me the result I needed. Sincere thanks to Carl and his great s... read more

    Lisa Bruinsma Avatar
    Lisa Bruinsma
    4/26/2019
  • This firm is quite wonderful....very family and military oriented. Compassionate and patient, very understanding and will go to bat for you!!!!! Give them a call!!!!!

    Teresa Wilkie Avatar
    Teresa Wilkie
    4/26/2019
  • Brian did an amazing job helping me with a personal matter! Its not the first time I ask Brian for help, and every time he exceeds my expectations! Thank you for your kindness, understanding and suppo... read more

    Iryna Volynets Avatar
    Iryna Volynets
    4/26/2019
  • Divorce is never easy, but Carl and his warm team helped me navigate this very difficult time. This was a military divorce, so Carl's expertise helped me understand exactly what my options were as a f... read more

    Kara Longmire Avatar
    Kara Longmire
    4/26/2019
  • I have had two occasions that I have needed Carl Graham's assistance with child support issues and both times Mr. Graham and his team were amazing. Mr. Graham is straight forward and honest. I highly ... read more

    Jason Ragland Avatar
    Jason Ragland
    4/26/2019
  • Can't thank the team enough.

    Kevin Czarnecki Avatar
    Kevin Czarnecki
    4/26/2019
  • Very professional and extremely supportive throughout my needs.

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    Doyle McNeil
    4/26/2019

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