As the name implies, in a military divorce, either one or both spouses are serving (or have served) in the armed forces, which makes it unique. There’s no escaping the fact that divorces are ultimately governed by the laws of their respective states. However, there may be jurisdictional issues and residency requirements specific to military members when determining where and when to file a claim. There may be problems with military justice. If you are accused of domestic violence, child abuse, or adultery, your divorce lawyer should be well-versed in the military justice system.
Family law practitioners who have not served in the military or who have chosen to devote a significant portion of their practise to military divorces are unfamiliar with many of the issues that arise in military divorces. The Thrift Savings Plan, for example, has a set of rules for dividing savings. To divide military retirement, which is often the largest asset in a couple’s estate, there are strict guidelines to follow. For military divorces to be handled successfully, you must know all of the rules and regulations associated with them.
Civil Relief for Active-Duty Military Personnel
Many aspects of your divorce or child custody case may be affected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA shields service members from unforeseen domestic situations, allowing them to concentrate on their overseas duties. A delay in any court or agency proceedings that might affect service members’ relationships with their children is therefore permitted by the SCRA.
Military spouses benefit from the SCRA, but non-military spouses may be frustrated if service members delay proceedings. The SCRA, on the other hand, protects servicemembers from courts issuing long-term decisions until they can arrange to be in the country. Military and civilian spouses’ rights must be balanced by the courts.
Additionally, the SCRA protects service members from being evicted by landlords, halts foreclosures, and provides several other benefits.
How Do I File for Divorce?
Many military spouses find themselves in a situation where they must make a difficult divorce decision in a new state. In some cases, a spouse may have returned to the state where they were born and raised. However, if one of the parties is an active duty service member, both parties must be aware of the location of the divorce filing. You and your spouse need to be given legal status as a couple in the eyes of the courts. If you don’t get a divorce, it won’t be legal. However, federal law only makes military retirement plan court orders enforceable if certain jurisdictional requirements are met, which is true for every divorce.
You can file for divorce, if:
- The military spouse is either a permanent resident or a citizen of the United States.
- You and your spouse must both agree to the state’s demands.
It is important to keep in mind that the state in which you wed is not a factor in the divorce proceedings. Your military divorce will be governed by the laws of the state in which you file.
A Military Divorce: What Is the Procedure?
On the basis of “no fault” grounds, such as an irretrievable breakdown, or “fault,” such as adultery or cruelty, you must file your complaint and allege the grounds for your divorce.
Before your name appears on a trial docket, expect to wait for at least a year. The judge will issue an order and then give you a final divorce decree when you get to a trial docket and have your day (or days) before the judge. You and your spouse will be legally divorced at that point.
This is the path that is being debated. In addition to contested divorces, there is the option of an uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse have worked out all of the details of your military divorce, including alimony, child custody, child support, and an equitable division of assets and debts, then an uncontested divorce is the best option for you. Once you receive that agreement, you can file it with the court, and the judge should issue a final divorce decree to you within 30 days. Divorces that end in amicable settlement are much less expensive, quicker, and less complex than contested ones. Uncontested divorces aren’t always possible because of the raw emotions and hurt feelings that arise early on in the process, but eventually, even a contentious divorce can be resolved amicably as an uncontested divorce when “cooler heads prevail.”