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What Should Military Members Know About Filing for Divorce?

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It’s no secret that divorce can be an incredibly challenging matter regardless of the circumstances surrounding it. However, if you or your spouse are a member of the United States armed forces, there are additional considerations you must make for this process. Generally, one of the most common questions military members have regarding their divorce surrounds where they must file, as they often have many different locations they could petition in. The following blog explores what you should know about these matters and how a Somerset County divorce attorney can help you receive the guidance you need to make this process more manageable.

Where Can Military Members File for Divorce?

When you or your spouse are a member of the armed forces, divorce can be more complex. One of the most important considerations that must be made during this process revolves around where you will file for divorce. Because the state where you’re stationed, what state your spouse is a resident of, and what state you are a resident of can all differ, you may not know where you’re eligible to file. Generally, New Jersey will allow members to file for a divorce in the state if they are stationed here, regardless of whether or not they are residents of the state. This is because many states will waive the residency requirement to file for divorce for members of the armed forces because of how frequently they must move.

Having additional options is beneficial, as you may want to reap the benefits of one state’s divorce laws over another. For example, you may be more inclined to file in New Jersey as opposed to your home state of California because the property distribution laws are different. New Jersey follows the equitable distribution method, which means your marital property will be divided based on each spouse’s contributions, whereas California is a community property state, meaning all assets are split 50/50.

What Else Should Service Members and Their Spouses Know When Divorcing?

When you and your spouse get divorced, the non-military member will be offered additional protection under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). However, you must meet certain requirements in order to receive these benefits. Generally, you must have been married for twenty years, your spouse must have served twenty years, and you were married for the twenty years of their service. If you meet these requirements and do not remarry, you will be eligible for medical, commissary, and exchange benefits, among other things.

Divorce is an incredibly complex matter, especially for those who have served in our nation’s armed forces. That’s why the team at the Siragusa Law Firm is proud to represent you during these matters. Connect with our dedicated divorce attorneys today to learn how we can help you through these complex matters.

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