Divorce is never easy, whether it is the emotional turmoil or the legal proceedings that need to be dealt with. Military divorce follows many of the same essential legal affairs as a civilian divorce. Like all civil divorces, military divorces need to be filed in the state court as well. However, certain issues specific to the armed forces may arise in case of military divorces that make the process a little different.
The first most important question that the couple faces is where to file for divorce. States by law require state residency to be able to file for divorce in the said state. This can complicate matters for military families as determining residency might not be that simple for them. Residency can be determined on the basis of where you own property, where you vote or pay taxes or what state issued your driver’s license. Military families may have no specific residence, and thus most states relax the residency law requirements for military personnel.
Different states exercise different divorce laws, and prior knowledge of this is essential to know before filing for divorce as it can affect the final outcome of the divorce proceedings. A serving member might benefit from filing a divorce in one state while the spouse may benefit from filing a divorce in another state. This may also affect child custody arrangements and property distribution. In addition to other assets, military pay, pensions, and benefit plans are also eligible for distribution among the spouses, at the hands of the court which may consider the pension or benefits as either sole or community property depending on what state the proceedings unfold in.
For these purposes, it is important to know the laws of the state you are planning to file the lawsuit in. This will massively affect the final outcome of the proceedings depending on whether you are a military personnel or the spouse. It is advised to seek the guidance of a divorce attorney, preferably someone who has experience in dealing with military divorce. The attorney will be able to better guide you through the whole process.