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What Should I Know About Divorcing Someone Who Is In The Military?

A divorce involving a spouse that is in the military can get a bit more complex, but it’s nothing that one of the knowledgeable Morris County, NJ divorce lawyers from our firm cannot handle.

Can You Serve a Member of the Military With Divorce Papers?

If your spouse is deployed or on active duty, it can be difficult to serve them with any papers relating to a divorce agreement. The law has made some accommodations for that. Under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, any judicial or administrative action that could affect an enlisted member’s rights when they are deployed or considered to be on active duty must be stayed.

That includes a spouse filing for divorce. The SSCRA essentially forces the courts to stay any divorce proceedings for at least 90 days. Sometimes the spouse who is in the military can also apply for additional stays. However, it is important to note that these stays are not guaranteed. This act is merely designed to help protect soldiers’ rights when they are not in the state and ensure that they are still entitled to due process. It is not supposed to allow someone to dodge consequences and any kind of lawsuit forever.

Does the Military Have Child Support Guidelines?

Each branch of the military does actually have its own guidelines concerning child support and how much the noncustodial parent should have to pay. It is important to note that orders from a New Jersey court can override these guidelines though. This can be ideal for the parent receiving support since the military guidelines for child support are generally going to require less from the noncustodial parent than state guidelines would.

It is also important to note that a parent can be charged criminally if they are in the military and they default on their child support obligations.

Is the Military Pension a Marital Asset?

A military pension can be considered a marital asset, even if the marriage did not last that long. Some believe that you need to be married for ten or even twenty years for the pension to be divisible in divorce proceedings, but that simply is not the case. It will be split up with the rest of the marital assets.

How Does Custody Work in a Military Divorce?

In some cases, a custody agreement can be adjusted to account for one parent’s military obligations. This can allow them to spend more time with their children and have visitation time that they are actually around to use.

Consult With Our Divorce Attorneys

If you are considering filing for divorce, you do not have to navigate this legal process on your own. Instead, schedule a free consultation with Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We would be happy to tell you more about what we can do to assist you.