Military members and their spouses can file for a divorce in many ways, including the state where the nonmilitary spouse resides, the state where the military member is stationed, or the state where the military member claims legal residency. Though military divorce follows the most common divorce procedures as civilians, there are some noticeable differences.
Active duty military is protected under law from being help in “default” for failing to respond to a divorce proceeding. This is in place to avoid active military from becoming divorced without their knowledge. They can opt from delaying the divorce and sign a paper that allows the divorce process to proceed uncontested. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, divorce proceedings can be postponed for the entire time the active service member is on duty and for up to 60 days after that.
How Does An Active Military Spouse Get Served?
Active duty spouses have to be served with summons, and a copy must come before the local court to have jurisdiction over the active military member. However, if the divorce does go uncontested, the military member must sign and file a waiver affidavit that acknowledges the divorce proceedings.
Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) issues military retirement benefit parameters calculated and divided when a military service member gets divorced. However, the spouse must be married to the military member for a minimum of ten years while the member was on active duty.
Under the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program, an ex-spouse who does not remarry can receive medical, commissary, and exchange privileges if they were married to the military member for at least 20 years. The service member must have also allotted 20 years of service for retired pay.
Federal law dictates that child and spousal support awards cannot exceed 60% of the military service member’s pay or allowances. The court will use guidelines to determine the proper amount of child/spousal support.
Hire An Expert Military Divorce Lawyer
Our team of family law attorneys proudly represents military members and military spouses. If you have become part of a military divorce or custody dispute, our law firm can assist in providing legal advice to protect your interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an expert family law attorney.