If either or both spouses are in the military, divorce may not be business as usual. There are special and unique circumstances for members of the military that may not apply to civilians.
As such, a military divorce can be confusing, especially if you are unaware of the legal nuances. Here is a brief overview of the laws that may affect your divorce.
Residency and filing requirements
The court where you file for divorce must have the jurisdiction to hear the case. Otherwise, the divorce may not be valid. For instance, Texas residency requirements state that you or your spouse must have lived in the state for six months before filing for divorce and at least 90 days in your county of residency.
The rule applies to all couples, civilian or not, but it can be stressful for military couples who tend to relocate more often.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
The SCRA is a federal law that offers service members several legal protections to protect them from distractions when discharging their duties. Among them is the stay of civil proceedings and relief from civil judgment.
Both of these legal protections can significantly delay divorce proceedings since they essentially shield your spouse from everything – summons and all.
Child custody issues
Decisions on child custody are not always straightforward in a military divorce since the spouse may be based in a different state or deployed overseas. It may not be easy to decide how both parents will be involved in the children’s lives.
Protecting your interests in a military divorce
Understanding the complex issues surrounding your divorce is crucial in safeguarding your rights. Therefore, preparing yourself with the necessary information will help you go through the entire process aware of how things work.