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How Can I Get Divorced as a Member of the United States Military?

It is an unfortunate reality of life, but many couples find themselves in situations of divorce. This includes services members of the United States military and their spouses. When facing these situations, it is important to understand that there are certain ways this process is different from that of a regular civilian divorce process. It is because of this that it is beneficial to retain the services of an experienced divorce attorney to navigate the process. 

How Do I Get a Divorce as a Service Member?

The first step of a regular civilian divorce is fulfilling a residency requirement. As you can guess, it can be difficult for a service member to abide by this, as they are constantly traveling due to work. It is because of this that the courts allow the spouses of service members to file for divorce three different ways: in the state where the couple has legal residency, the state where the military member is stationed, or the state where the military member claims legal residency.

Can Military Members Be Served Divorce Papers?

Generally speaking, there is an appointed individual at most military bases to act as a law enforcement officer. This position allows them to handle any legal matters on the base. This individual can serve the divorce papers to a service member. However, it is important to understand that service members are not necessarily required to accept the serve. Instead, they can request a “stay” on the divorce. While this can prolong the process, it does not prevent it. It simply puts the process on hold until they can return from their service.

Are Military Divorces Subject to Default Judgment?

When a civilian divorce occurs, both spouses are required to attend several meetings and court appearances. If a spouse fails to show up for these hearings, it can result in a default judgment. This is ultimately the dissolution of the marriage. During a military divorce, a service member clearly may not be able to attend these dates. It is because of this that military divorces are not subject to a default judgment. As a result, military spouses may not complete the process of their divorce until both parties are present or the service member has legal representation to act on their behalf.

Contact our Firm

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