Is it Difficult to get a Divorce if you are a Member of the U.S. Military?

Is it Difficult to get a Divorce if you are a Member of the U.S. Military?

Divorce can be an extremely stressful process. Emotional stress is compiled by financial stress, and the process may become even more complicated if you are a member of the U.S. military. However, by hiring an experienced attorney and educating yourself beforehand, you can help make the divorce process go as smoothly as possible. Here are some questions you may have regarding your military divorce:

What are residency requirements?

Generally, if you are seeking a divorce in New York State, these are the residency requirements you have to meet:

  • You or your spouse have lived in the state without interruption for a minimum of two years
  • You or your spouse have lived in the state in the year before the divorce case and you either got married in New York, lived in New York as a married couple, or the grounds for the divorce happened in New York
  • Both spouses are residences on the day of filing.

However, if you are serving in the military, there are some exceptions. Since many men and women serving in the military are often not in the same place for more than a few months at a time, they have special residency requirement options. Military couples, unlike ordinary civilian couples, may file for divorce in the state where the couple has established legal residence, where the service member is stationed, or where the service member claims legal residency.Β 

Do child custody terms change if my spouse or I are current service members?

Child custody is oftentimes the most sensitive issue of the divorce process. Fortunately, both spouses have equal entitlement in court, regardless of the amount of time spent away from home. However, you will need to hire an experienced attorney to help you achieve the child custody terms you desire.

What is a default judgment?

If a party neglects to respond to a divorce petition within a certain amount of time, or a party fails to show up for his or her court hearing, they would be considered β€œin default.” One can see how this may be a problem for an active service member, as they are very often away from home. Thankfully, the federal government recognized this challenge and ruled in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that courts may not make a default judgment in the event that the service member is not present because they are on duty.

How may divorce affect my military pension?

Thanks to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act of 1982, in some circumstances, a military pension may be divided equitably in a divorce. This is applicable if the couple has been married for 10 years during a 10-year period that they were active duty in the military. This is also known as the β€œ10/10 rule.”

Contact our experienced New York firm

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.