How can military members get a divorce?
Divorce is a difficult process that can be time-consuming for both spouses. It’s even more difficult when one or both spouses are members of the military. Since members of the military can be deployed for months at a time in distant countries, it can be hard for these couples to undergo the process of a divorce. If you have involvement in the military, you have certain rights granted to you for matters involving divorce.
When couples file for divorce, they have to meet a minimum residency requirement. This is to decide which court has jurisdiction over the case being presented. In military relationships, this can be especially tricky. When service members are deployed or in training, they may not be able to meet this minimum residency requirement. These laws were put in place to clear up any confusion. The federal government and the state governments passed laws specifically for cases like this.
In New York, military couples have some options of where the 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. This is to ensure that the spouses are given an equal opportunity to proceed with the divorce process.
As the divorce process continues for military couples, it can get even more complicated once their presence is required in court. Since deployment or being stationed far away could prevent a spouse from attending court, there are ways to help them. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act states that courts cannot make a default judgment in an event that a member is not present due to their military duty. The law makes it clear that the service member or their legal counsel has to be present for when important decisions are being made, such as child support, alimony, etc.
Another issue that comes up in military divorces involves their military 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.
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.