Military Divorce in New York

While all divorce is complicated, if you or your spouse is a member of the U.S. military, your divorce can become all the more complex. If you are in a military divorce, please read on and reach out to our firm to learn more about how we can help you.

What are the residency requirements for military divorces in New York?

All divorces require spouses to fulfill the residency requirements. However, since members of the military are seldom in one place for a prolonged period of time, residency requirements are adjusted to better suit their situation. Military members and their spouses may only file for divorce:

  • In the state where the U.S. military member currently claims legal residence
  • In the state where the couple has legal residence
  • In the state where the U.S. military member is currently stationed

How do I serve a U.S. military service member divorce papers?

You will first have to go to the base where your military spouse is stationed. From here, you will have to serve the papers through the designated official who acts as the base’s law enforcement officer. However, your spouse may reject the serve and request a stay, which can dramatically prolong the divorce process until he or she returns.

Are members of the U.S. military exempt from default judgments?

A court will issue a default judgment when a spouse files a Complaint for Divorce and the other spouse fails to respond or be present for the divorce proceedings. When this happens, the court essentially settles the divorce in favor of the spouse who filed the Complaint and was present in court. However, since military duty oftentimes prevents spouses from returning at once, courts are not allowed to make any judgments until either the spouse returns and is present in court, or until the military spouse has appointed legal counsel to act on his or her behalf.

How does a divorce affect a military pension?

Military pensions are generally regarded as marital property, and are therefore subject to equitable distribution, as all other marital property is. The 10/10 rule essentially states that if a spouse has been married for at least 10 years, and the other spouse has served in the military for at least 10 years of that marriage, the civilian spouse is entitled to a portion of the military pension. The award is generally satisfied through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Contact our experienced Long Island firm

Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.