How is a military divorce different than a civilian divorce?

How is a military divorce different than a civilian divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2020 | Military Divorce |

Typically, you never imagine that you will be filing for divorce one day when you are walking down the aisle at your wedding. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, a large percentage of marriages end in divorce. This is especially true if you are in the military or married to someone who is. 

If you or your spouse are members of the military then you already know that these marriages face a different set of challenges than civilian marriages. Long deployment times and constant moving are part of the life of a military spouse. While you may understand that your marriage looks different than most, you may not understand how your divorce will also differ. 

Jurisdiction may not be where you live 

According to FindLaw, only a court with the proper jurisdiction can grant servicemembers and their spouses a divorce. While for most civilians proper jurisdiction is where they currently live, the same may not be true in your case. For example, you may live in one state at the time of your divorce, but hold legal residence in another. The place of legal residence is technically where your jurisdiction lies. In Hawaii, you must be a resident for 6 months before you can file for divorce. 

There are protections for servicemembers during active duty 

If you are a member of the military, you probably already know about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This act allows you to request a temporary stop to legal proceedings in certain situations. The SCRA helps you avoid judgments against you while you are unable to defend yourself in court. If you have any civil matter brought against you either while you are on active duty, or 90 days after your release from active duty, you may apply for this relief.