When divorce becomes a reality, it can be difficult for military couples to make it official. Since there are certain guidelines in place, it can affect their eligibility. However, there are certain laws in place to prevent this from affecting the course of action. As a member of the military or a spouse of a member, the process is complicated due to overseas travel. This may affect residency requirements, granting a court responsible for that case. If you or your spouse are a military member, contacting our firm for a consultation can present you with options on how to proceed.
How are military divorces different?
Since military members can be deployed in foreign nations, their whereabouts may be unknown. This also affects the jurisdiction of the case. It becomes difficult to pinpoint which court system will handle the divorce case between the two spouses. Due to this, New York state put laws in place to decide this matter. This has helped couples seek the divorce they wanted.
In New York state, military couples have some options of how their minimum residency requirement can be met. These options include: where the couple has an established legal residence, where the service member is stationed or where the service member claims legal residency. Through these options, couples are still able to file for divorce. It allows for the equal opportunity for a legalized divorce.
What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act relates to military members that are going through the process of divorce. When divorces are brought to litigation, the spouses have to attend court for the proceedings. If a spouse does not attend court, this can reflect poorly on their character and can ultimately affect a judge’s decision when dealing with marital issues. These issues may include child support, alimony or child custody. However, this act provides an opportunity for service members. The act states that if service members cannot attend a proceeding due to their duties, they cannot be held accountable. This means that the judge cannot make a default judgment in the event that the member is not present in court. With this law, it grants members of the military the opportunity to a fair and just trial. Through this law, it clearly states that either the military member involved in the divorce or their attorney must be present when important decisions are being made in court. These decisions include child support, alimony and more.
As a military member, will my pension be involved?
Another factor outlined specifically for service members includes their pension. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act ruled that a military pension can be divided equitably in a divorce. However, there are guidelines for this law. It is only applied when the spouses have been married for 10 years during a 10-year period that they were in active duty in the military. Through the establishment of this law, it may be possible that your spouse can acquire part of your pension.
For these cases, it is important to have an attorney present if you cannot attend court proceedings. Contact us for a trustworthy attorney. We want to represent your best interests when you are unable to attend court.
The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. understands that divorce and family law matters can be very complicated and emotional. They require strong legal representation from a compassionate attorney. Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.