Understanding the Key Differences Between a Military and Civilian Divorce

Getting a divorce is a complicated, confusing, and emotionally draining experience even in the most common of circumstances. When one or both parties is an active duty military member, however, things can get even more complex. Whether you are the military member, or a spouse of a military member, it is important to make sure you are aware of how things will proceed with your divorce. Working with an attorney who has experience with military divorces can also help avoid problems and streamline the process. The following are some key differences between a military and a civilian divorce.

Where to File for Divorce

Military members are often deployed or stationed overseas for months or even years at a time. Determining where to file for divorce can be confusing. In most situations, the state where a couple shares a marital home is where the divorce should be filed. There can be some exceptions to this, and in some cases the couple can agree to have their divorce handled in another state of their choosing. This often happens if the divorce begins shortly after the military spouse is relocated.

Impact of deployment

If an active duty service member is currently deployed, or gets deployed during the divorce process, the case can be delayed by the courts. The delay can potentially last until the military spouse returns from deployment, which, depending on the circumstances, can be a year or even longer. While this can be difficult, the laws are in place to protect both the individuals involved, and those who rely on the military members while deployed.

Division of Assets

Those serving in the military earn a variety of benefits such as pensions, retirement funds, and more. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USEPSA), the state where the military member is residing has the ability to divide these assets up during a divorce. The spouse of a service member will only be eligible to receive certain continued benefits if they were married for a certain length of time. For example, a couple must have been married at least 20 years in order to receive continued health care, commissary and exchange benefits, and other medical coverages.

Experience is Essential

If you are considering divorce as either a military member, or the spouse of a military member, you need to make sure your attorney has experience in this area. Since the divorce can be influenced by both state and federal laws, an attorney needs to be able to carefully navigate through the process to avoid problems. Contact Amsberry Law Firm to discuss your options and determine the right course of action for your military divorce.

Attorney Russell Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry founded the Amsberry Law Firm in 1995 with the goal of providing clients with exceptional, focused representation on their issues. His success as a legal advocate has been reflected in the numerous professional honors he has received, such as speaking engagements and inclusion in Scene in SA magazine’s listing of the best lawyers in San Antonio, a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubble, and an amazing rating from Avvo. [ Attorney Bio ]

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The Amsberry Law Firm, founded in 1995, has helped thousands of clients overcome their unique legal challenges.

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