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How is a military divorce different from a civilian one?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2023 | Divorce, Military Divorce

Divorce is never easy, but when one or both parties involved are members of the military, the process can become even more complex. The divorce process for those who serve in the Armed Forces varies from those of civilians without such obligations and can be complicated for both parties.

Here are some ways in which military divorce differs from civilian divorce.

1. Jurisdiction

Military divorces can be filed in civil courts or military courts. In a civilian divorce, the jurisdiction is typically determined by the state where both parties reside. However, in a military divorce, jurisdiction can be determined by where the service member is stationed or where they claim legal residency.

2. Timing

Military divorce proceedings can be delayed due to the deployment status of the service member. Service members have the right to postpone divorce proceedings while on active duty or for up to 90 days after their deployment has ended. This can make the divorce process longer and more complicated.

3. Asset division

 Military benefits and pensions are considered marital property and are subject to division during divorce proceedings. 

4. Child custody

In a military divorce, child custody is determined by the state where the divorce was filed. However, The service member’s deployment schedule may require modifications to the parenting plan or visitation schedule.

A military divorce is a complex process that involves unique issues not present in civilian divorces. Understanding the complexities and various state laws regarding child custody and division of assets can help guide you in your decision if you choose to file for divorce.