Since military members can be deployed in foreign nations, their whereabouts may be unknown. This also affects the jurisdiction of the case. It becomes difficult to pinpoint which court system will handle the divorce case between the two spouses. Due to this, New York state put laws in place to decide this matter. This has helped couples seek the divorce they wanted.
In New York state, military couples have some options of how their minimum residency requirement can be met. These options include: where the couple has an established legal residence, where the service member is stationed or where the service member claims legal residency. Through these options, couples are still able to file for divorce. It allows for the equal opportunity for a legalized divorce.
What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act relates to military members that are going through the process of divorce. When divorces are brought to litigation, the spouses have to attend court for the proceedings. If a spouse does not attend court, this can reflect poorly on their character and can ultimately affect a judge’s decision when dealing with marital issues. These issues may include child support, alimony or child custody. However, this act provides an opportunity for service members. The act states that if service members cannot attend a proceeding due to their duties, they cannot be held accountable. This means that the judge cannot make a default judgment in the event that the member is not present in court. With this law, it grants members of the military the opportunity to a fair and just trial. Through this law, it clearly states that either the military member involved in the divorce or their attorney must be present when important decisions are being made in court. These decisions include child support, alimony and more.
As a military member, will my pension be involved?
Another factor outlined specifically for service members includes their pension. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act ruled that a military pension can be divided equitably in a divorce. However, there are guidelines for this law. It is only applied when the spouses have been married for 10 years during a 10-year period that they were in active duty in the military. Through the establishment of this law, it may be possible that your spouse can acquire part of your pension.
The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC is an experienced divorce and family law firm located in New City, NY. It is essential to retain effective legal guidance during such pivotal times in life. Contact our firm today to discuss your legal matter and get the quality legal representation you deserve.