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Military Divorces in the State of New Jersey

The process of going through a divorce can be complicated, no matter who it is. However, it is important to understand that the process is different for United States military members who are divorcing from their spouse. Throughout a civilian divorce, spouses are generally required to attend certain court dates and meetings. This can be difficult for military members who spend a significant amount of time away from home. If you are looking to go through with a military divorce, you should be aware of the answers to any question you may have. An experienced divorce attorney can help with this process.

Military Divorce Requirements

Similar to civilian divorce cases, a military divorce must meet a residency requirement. The courts within New Jersey understand that military members often have difficulty maintaining a residence due to the fact that they move around a lot. It is because of this that military members or their spouse can file a divorce in the state where:

  • The couple has a legal residence
  • The military member is stationed
  • The military member claims legal residence

Serving Divorce Members

When an individual wishes to divorce their military spouse, the process can be more complicated. This is because, in order to begin the process, a spouse must be served the divorce papers. Most military bases have a designated official who acts as a law enforcement officer to take care of any legal matters on the base. This allows them to be served the paperwork. If the service member does not accept the serve, they can request a “stay.” This puts the divorce on hold as long as they are in service. While this prolongs the process, it does not avoid divorce altogether. 

Are Military Members Protected from Default Judgment?

If a spouse does not answer a Complaint for Divorce in civilian cases, the process may proceed without them. This results in a default judgment. However, in the event of a military divorce, service members often have difficulty and are unable to address the complaint. It is because of this that there may be no default judgment on the divorce without their presence or presence of legal representation. 

Can My Military Pension be Affected by a Divorce?

When a couple goes through a divorce, they must divide their assets. During this process, it must be determined which assets are marital property and which are separate property. It is important to know that New Jersey courts can treat a military pension as marital property. This means it can be equitably distributed between the spouses. In addition to this, there is a “10/10 rule” that considers the length of a couple’s marriage. It states that if the couple was married for at least 10 years and the member served for at least 10 years, their spouse is eligible for a portion of the military pay.

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.