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What you need to know about military divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2017 | Military Divorce |

As a service member thinking about divorce, it is important to realize that there are certain laws that apply to you that do not apply to civilians. This does mean that your divorce will be more complicated, it simply means that there are some different matters you will have to address. One of the first things you should do is to hire an attorney in the Riverside area that has experience with military divorces.

Some of the issues you might encounter include residency requirements, compliance and even your spouse’s rights to your pension. Read further for an overview of what you can expect during your divorce proceedings.

State and federal laws

Unlike civilian divorces that are regulated by state laws, your divorce is subject to both state and federal laws. The federal laws will affect things like where you file your petition and how the court will divide your retirement fund. The state laws will dictate things like spousal support.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides you certain protections in case your spouse attempts to file a petition for divorce while you are on active duty. The Act suspends proceedings for the time you are active and for the 60 days after.


In order to preside over a military divorce, a court has to have the authority to do so. Sometimes, the court where you legally reside has jurisdiction even if you are stationed in another location. However, in most cases you can file for divorce in the same state in which you are stationed. In addition, if your spouse lives elsewhere, she can file in that jurisdiction as well.

Effects on your pension

Just like your other marital assets, your military pension is subject to property division laws. Once the decree is in place and your ex-wife begins receiving her share of the pension, the payments will come from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. The division is reliant on whether or not your marriage lasted at least ten years and if that time period overlapped with 10 years of your service.


When it comes to child support and alimony, the military has particular rules in place. In order to enforce support, a judge might issue a court order or garnish your wages. The military is very strict in ensuring service members properly provide for their families following divorce.

If you are in the military and considering divorce, it is important to remember that divorce requirement are different for service members.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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