Divorce is often an emotionally difficult and draining time for many. However, for those in the United States military, there are unique issues that must be carefully considered. If this is reminiscent of your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading to familiarize yourself with the situation and learn some of the most important considerations you must make when filing for divorce if you or your spouse are a member of the military. Keep reading to learn how military divorces differ and discover how a Monroe, Louisiana divorce lawyer can help you through this process.
What Are the Requirements for Military Divorces?
When filing for divorce, if your spouse is a military member, the process looks different. This is because the respondent spouse, the military member, may be unable to participate in the divorce proceedings because of their status. Generally, if a spouse does not respond, they are issued a default judgment. However, the Federal Service Members Civil Relief Act of 2003 prevents military members them from incurring a default judgment. You may also obtain signed consent from your spouse to continue with the divorce.
One of the most important considerations that must be made for military families is where they will file for divorce. Most states require one spouse to live in the state for a minimum of six months. However, military members are often restationed frequently, making it hard to meet the residency requirements. As such, there is more leniency for service members. This includes:
- Filing in the state where you last lived for at least six months
- Filing in the state where you pay taxes
- Filing in the state where you are stationed, even if you aren’t a resident
What Else Should I Consider?
Another factor you’ll want to take into consideration is the pension of the military spouse. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act is a 1982 law that helps non-military spouses obtain certain benefits. Generally, so long as the spouse does not get remarried, you may be eligible to receive a portion of their pension since it is deemed marital property.
However, non-military spouses must meet the eligibility requirements. This includes being married for at least ten years, and the military spouse must have served ten years of duty.
If you or your spouse have served in the military, your circumstances are likely more unique and complex than civilian divorces. As such, it’s essential to ensure that you enlist the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney to help you navigate these challenges. If you have a waiting period or need assistance determining what state you should file in, a lawyer can help.
At Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson, our dedicated legal team can help you navigate any issues you may face during your military divorce. Contact our office today to connect with an attorney and discuss the details of your case.