Divorce is never easy, but when you must deal with divorce while in the military, it can be that much more difficult. There are many different challenges (e.g. jurisdiction, child custody, and division of military retired pay) that military members must face when going through the divorce process. Here are some important things to know about military divorce.
When dealing with where to file for divorce, it’s important to understand jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the location in which the divorce is legally able to be filed and is generally based on where the two people are domiciled (where they plan to permanently reside). But when one spouse is in the military and stationed in a separate state or even overseas, it can make this determination more difficult. For divorce actions involving a military member, the divorce can be filed in a state that both parties identify as their domicile, where the military member presently resides (unrelated to the military), or in a state that both parties consent to. The jurisdiction is important because that state legally controls and has authority over the divorce action.
Child Custody Issues
If military divorce is tough, it’s only that much tougher to go through a divorce when there are also children involved. Military divorces have unique child custody issues when the military member is on active duty. However, under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the military member who is on active duty can postpone the court from making decisions on child custody for at least three months (90 days). However, in order for the court to postpone its decisions, the military member must apply for this and provide the court with a letter that includes their duty requirements and when they are able to appear in court.
Division of Military Retired Pay
Another major thing impacted by military divorce is how the military member’s retired pay is to be divided. The military member’s retired pay is generally one of – if not – the most significant asset in the marriage. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) the court may consider their military retired pay to be marital property, which means that it can be divided similarly to any other pension (e.g., for child support, alimony, settlement, etc.). It’s important to clarify, however, that not all non-military spouses are entitled to it; it depends upon several factors, such as how long the couple was married and how much of that marriage occurred while the military member was on active duty.
The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Are Going Through a Divorce
Divorce is never easy, but when one party is a military member, it can make it much more complicated. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military attorney as soon as possible.
If you are a military service member and are going through a divorce, the attorneys at Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!