Divorce involving one or both partners who are serving in the military is not like the conventional divorce we’re familiar with. Because military law differs from ordinary civil law, there are several differences in terms of procedure in military law processes. There are unique issues that come up that usually are not of importance in a divorce involving regular families.
Understanding the complexities of military divorce is essential to result in fair outcomes. If you’re a spouse undergoing or planning to undergo a military divorce proceeding, here are the things you need to know.
The divorce process can slow down if the spouse is in active duty
Typically, what happens in a divorce proceeding is one spouse files the complaint, which states the legal facts and circumstances warranting the divorce. Afterward, the other spouse files his or her answer to the complaint. This would begin the legal divorce proceedings involving the settlement, trial, and final judgment.
However, in case one or both spouses are in the military, the divorce process can slow down. That’s because the law allows the postponement of pending cases involving servicemen when they are in active service, which will hinder their participation in the proceedings. If the divorce complaint is filed during this period, then it’ll have to wait until the military duties have come to an end.
Military lawyers are not legal representatives in divorce cases
A divorce case is a civil proceeding that is filed in a civilian court. Military courts do not have the jurisdiction to determine divorce proceedings, most especially when the other spouse is a civilian. Consequently, a military attorney cannot be allowed to represent the military spouse in a divorce case. They are not, however, prohibited from giving legal advice, providing recommendations, etc.
The former spouse of military members can receive certain military benefits
It is widely known and established that the spouses and families of military servicemen are entitled to military benefits. But a common cause of concern is whether an ex-spouse is still entitled to the same. Federal law still gives the non-military spouse certain benefits even after a divorce. They can receive medical, commissary, and other privileges as provided by law.
A military divorce complaint can be filed in either one of three places
Usually, a divorce case must be filed by the complaining spouse in their legal residence. But when the divorce involves a spouse in military service, there become more options as to the place of filing.
It is still most ideal to file a divorce in the place of legal residence because some states do not recognize foreign divorce. But this rule can be loosened in the case of military families. The complaining spouse may file either in the place where the military spouse is stationed, where the military spouse claims legal residency, or where the non-military spouse resides.
Regular divorce proceedings are complex and complicated in itself. And it only gets more complicated when dealing with the specific and niched community of military families. There are unique issues that may arise due to the family setup, and there are several laws that may govern the rights of military personnel. Because of this, it’s ideal to get the help of divorce attorneys in Colorado Springs who are competent in the field of military divorce. They can help ensure that rights are protected, and they can make the process more seamless.