What should I know about divorcing someone who is in the military?
Regardless of what type of divorce you pursue, the legal process is overwhelming and stressful as many critical issues must be ironed out including spousal support, child support, child custody, and property division. However, if you are seeking a military divorce, it is critical to understand the different legal requirements you will be confronted with that civilian couples do not have to face. When you divorce someone who is in the military, you are afforded certain rights and benefits under the law. Keep reading to learn what rights and benefits nonmilitary spouses are granted when divorcing service members and discover how a trusted Nassau County Military Divorce Attorney can help you navigate the intricacies associated with this complex legal process.
How do I file for a divorce if my spouse is in the military?
When you seek a divorce, you may assume it is a no-brainer to file for divorce in the state that you live in. However, if your spouse is an active service member, they may be required to move around. This means you may be living in a different state every couple of months which can make it challenging to determine where you should file for divorce to meet residency requirements.
When you divorce someone who serves in the United States military, you are guaranteed certain rights and benefits under the law. Military divorce laws allow service members to file for divorce in the state where the service member is stationed and their nonmilitary spouse resides. Essentially, divorce can be filed in the state where the service member has legal residency. However, if your spouse is stationed overseas the divorce process can be more complicated. Typically, courts do not recognize divorces filed overseas. Nevertheless, it is usually best in this situation to file for divorce in the state where the service members claim legal residency.
What are the rights of nonmilitary spouses?
As mentioned above, nonmilitary spouses are awarded certain rights and benefits under the law when divorcing a service member. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act is a federal law that allows former spouses of military members to reap certain benefits. However, they must meet the following requirements:
- They must have been married to the military members for at least 20 years.
- The military member must have performed at least 20 years of service.
- The former spouse was married to the military member during their retirement creditable service.
If you meet the above-listed criteria, you can receive medical, commissary, exchange, and theater privileges. Additionally, a former spouse may be entitled to TRICARE medical coverage if the service member performed creditable service for at least 20 years, the length of the marriage was at least 20 years, and the period of the marriage overlapped the period of service by at least 15 years. However, if these requirements are not met, under the 20/20/15 rule, the former spouse will not have access to these military privileges.
If you are considering divorcing someone who is in the military, it is critical to hire a Nassau County military divorce attorney. Military divorces have unique legal requirements, you deserve quality legal counsel. Allow our firm to guide you toward the best possible outcome.