Are military divorces done differently?

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Military members are often deployed in foreign nations and move around from place to place based on their assignment. Their whereabouts may even be unknown to even their spouse. Due to these complications, a divorce can become difficult to proceed with. New York state passed laws to decide on the jurisdiction of divorces involving military members. With these laws in place, members of the military and their spouses are able to pursue the same divorce opportunities as other couples.

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.

How does the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act aid in this process?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act concerns military members that are considering divorce options. When divorces are filed and spouses have to attend litigation, they are expected to appear in court. However, this can be impossible for military members that are going through divorce. They may be stationed overseas and are unable to attend a court session. With this in mind, this act helps to deflect a poor judgment on their character. When individuals do not show up for court, judges often rule against them based upon their lack of attendance which shows carelessness. However, they are not allowed to rule that way when it involves a lack of attendance for military 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, child custody and more.

Will my military pension be involved in the divorce?

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. We can best represent you when you cannot attend court due to your duties as a service member.

Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today for a free consultation.

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