When a couple faces divorce and one or both parties are in the military, it often complicates the case. Military members must address the same issues as civilians when divorcing, however, different rules govern military divorces over civilian divorces. Because military personnel are often away serving our country, the federal government must provide considerations and augmentations of the laws that govern them at home. It is understandable that the laws cannot fully apply to servicemembers as they do civilians because of their jobs. Our military divorce lawyer is honored to serve the needs of military members and their families. If you are a servicemember or the spouse of one, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. for a consultation to discuss your legal matter.
Residency requirement and the military
When a civilian couple gets a divorce in New York, they must satisfy the residency requirement that establishes jurisdiction over the case. When one party is on active duty or continuously moving from station to station, satisfying the residency requirement is almost impossible. The federal government and the state of New York allow leniency on this issue. Either spouse may file for divorce where the military member claims legal residence, the military personnel is stationed, or the couple has legal residence.
Military divorce and default judgments
When litigating a divorce, both parties are expected to be present. If one party is not present, a court can decide on the matter in favor of the other party. This is called a default judgment. This rule cannot justly apply to servicemembers who are on active duty. The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act mandates that a military member must be present or have counsel present for the court to continue the case. A court will not be able to judge against a military member who cannot reasonably be represented in court.
Divorce and military pension
Under certain circumstances, a military pension can be considered marital property. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act of 1982 establishes the 10/10 rule. This rule states that if a couple has been married for over 10 years and the military member served creditable military service for over 10 years, the civilian spouse could be entitled to a portion of the pension acquired because of service. If this rule applies, the award would be satisfied through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
Contact Our Military Divorce Lawyer
Military members must have representation with significant knowledge of divorce laws and how they apply to military personnel. Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. is an experienced law firm serving clients across Long Island. If you need quality legal services from an experienced Suffolk County law firm, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. for a consultation today.