Going through a divorce as a military service member can be complicated. In addition to knowing about the laws pertaining to divorce in the jurisdiction in which you will file, there are several other considerations you must think about. Our military readers in Colorado might be interested in learning about some of the things that military members have to think about when they are ready to end a marriage.
Generally, service men and women who are on active duty have the protection of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. That act gives members of the military who are serving on active duty to have divorce proceedings stayed or put on hold for 90 days. This is a protection that service members can request if their duties prevent them from answering the divorce complaint. In some cases, the court might grant another stay when that 90-day stay ends, but the court can’t prevent the divorce from occurring.
Where a divorce is filed when a service member is one party to the divorce is another important matter, especially when the military member is close to retirement or planning to retire from the military. A military divorce can be filed in either the state of residence of the husband or the state of residence of the wife. In most cases, it is filed in the state of residence of the person who is filing the petition.
The state in which the military service member resides can divide the service member’s pension. This trumps the right of another court to divide the pension. The laws governing the pension division in divorce, including the one just stated, are found in the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act. Working with someone who is familiar with divorces in the military can help you to ensure your rights are protected
Source: Stateside Legal, “Divorce In Military Families – How It’s Different & What You Need To Know” Dec. 29, 2014