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Issues in military divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2023 | Military Divorce |

Many residents of Riverside County communities either are on active military duty or are a military spouse.

In many ways, military divorces legally work just like any other divorce. Even if one or both spouses are military members, a California court will divide property and make decisions about alimony, child custody, parenting time and child support.

However, there are also some important differences. Importantly, federal laws like the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, as well as the military’s own rules, can affect the outcome of a divorce.

Active duty servicemembers have protection from civil suits

For example, the SCRA protects active duty servicemembers from having to answer lawsuits under many circumstances.  A servicemember may also be able to delay legal proceedings that they are not able to participate in because of their military duties.

Divorces fall under the SCRA’s protections. Even though divorces usually are a matter of state law, California courts do not have the authority to ignore the SCRA.

Military pensions, benefits get divided according to federal law

To give another example, federal laws and regulations also determine how military retirement pay, disability pay and other benefits get divided. A person going through a military divorce will need to understand these rules to make sure that they are in the best financial position possible after a divorce.

There also a lot of practical differences between military divorces and other divorces. For one, spouses may have to try to resolve their divorces over a long distance.

Also, custody and parenting time can be more complicated questions when a parent is deployed or on active duty.

Those in Riverside, Temecula and the surrounding communities who are either in the military or married to a servicemember and who are considering divorce should make sure they understand their legal options and alternatives.


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