Filing for Military Divorce
Life as a military family is faced with unique challenges unknown to civilian families. Possible deployments, constant and unpredictable moves, random shifts, and uncertainty is a way of life. Marriage is a complex and difficult endeavor under any circumstances, but military life brings with it more adversity and challenges. If a military spouse decides to divorce, special and unique circumstances apply to that divorce, just as in the marriage. For a family that has lived in several states, selecting a venue for divorce can prove complicated. A marriage license in one state, employment throughout several states, possible property ownership in multiple states, and the decision to divorce in yet another state can prove problematic when the choice of venue presents itself in the divorce proceedings. Where you file for military divorce matters. If you need help making a determination where to file for divorce, or help understanding your rights, contact an experienced family law attorney today.
Why Where you File for Military Divorce Matters
Federal and state laws both govern military divorces. The decision regarding where a military divorced is filed will directly impact the remainder of the divorce proceedings, so it is important to choose this state (also known as “venue”) carefully. The chosen state will then govern significant aspects of the divorce including separation of assets, child custody, alimony and spousal support. Some of the significant reasons where you file your military divorce can impact your finances and personal life are as follows:
- Military Pension
Military pensions are significant to the financial well-being of a military family. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), the military pension is divided according to the laws of the state of the legal residence of the military service member. Choosing a venue for divorce is significant as it affects the division of this important asset of marital property. Additionally, if you decide to file for divorce in the state that is not the legal residence of the military service member, there is a possibility that they will not have the legal authority to divide the military pension.
- Child Support and Custody
One of the most important aspects of a divorce surrounds child support and child custody. The state where the divorce occurs will typically have jurisdiction and authority over child support calculations and child custody orders.
- Alimony and Spousal Support
Just as each state has different statutes regarding child support and custody, they will also have different statutes that govern spousal support and alimony calculations.
What Venues are Available for Military Divorce
There are three different venues that military service members and their spouses can choose to file for divorce. These venues include the following:
- The current state the service member is currently stationed
- The state where the service member has legal residency
- The state where the non-service member currently resides
Previously, many states held traditional residency requirements for military divorces, which required service members to file for divorce where they are stationed, even though the service member was not even a legal resident of that state. These laws have changed, and now the three options above are available to service members and their families.
Let Us Help You Today
If you are seeking a military divorce, contact the Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys at the offices of Joyce A. Julian, P.A., to guide you through these unique and complex legal challenges you are facing. If you are a service member seeking a divorce, certain laws apply to you that are not applicable to civilian divorces. Having a compassionate advocate during this stressful time can help you feel confident your rights are being protected. Contact the offices of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. today at 954-467-6656 or online for a free consultation.