Tips To Keep In Mind When Filing For Divorce As A Military Member Or Spouse

Divorce is always difficult, and there are sometimes legal hoops to jump through no matter how you choose to go about it. If you are soon going to be divorced from your spouse who is a military service member, you may have additional considerations to keep in mind. While the military typically considers divorce to be a civil matter, there are some ways in which getting divorced while in the service or as the spouse of a service member could change things for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Figure out Where to File

When you are a civilian, aka a normal American, you simply file for divorce in the state where you currently live. Military members or their spouses might have additional options though. You could choose to file in the state where you currently have legal residence, but you also may be able to file wherever you are currently stationed, and this could be somewhere else entirely. If you and your spouse are on speaking terms, you should research the laws in all applicable states and choose the state that will be fairest to both of you. If you are filing alone, you should first contact a military divorce lawyer to discuss the path forward.

Make Sure You File Within the U.S.

While there can be debate sometimes on the best place to file for divorce, keep in mind that if you want the divorce to be recognized in the United States, it needs to be filed in a United States court. In other words, a military member stationed overseas will not want to file in a different country. It may be possible to contact a military divorce lawyer who can help you file in the United States even if you are going to be stationed overseas for the long-term. Your established legal residence in the United States may be used in this instance in order to let you file.

The Military Provides Some Benefits to Spouses Based on Time Served

If you are a military spouse, you should know that the military does provide some services, including free legal assistance, to certain spouses. You may also be eligible for other benefits like medical or ongoing healthcare after the divorce. Some of these benefits though are contingent on how long you have been married to the service member. This is why you should talk to a divorce lawyer first and figure out the exact timeline. It might make sense to wait to file if another year will offer additional benefits to you after the divorce goes through.

Contact a military divorce lawyer today for more information.