Divorce can be a complicated process, beginning with understanding the laws governing where divorce proceedings may be initiated. But, in most cases, a party may file for divorce where they have residency, these general rules are different for members of the military. The following post will discuss some of the jurisdictional issues a military service member may confront when pursuing divorce. However, readers of this Spokane divorce legal blog are encouraged to seek their own legal counsel on their own divorces.
A member of the armed services or their spouse generally has a choice of three different jurisdictions. They may select to file for divorce where the filing party has residency or they may select to file where the other party as residency. Finally, a person pursuing divorce as or against a service member may file where the service member is stationed.
Deciding where to file for divorce can be a difficult decision, considering how different states address the division of property between the parties to married couples. While some states follow equitable distribution practices, others follow the laws of community property. Consultation with family law attorneys about these and other important divorce-related considerations is recommended before a party files for divorce.
Under the Service Members Civil Relief Act, a military service member is generally protected from military divorce proceedings, while they are on active duty. However, the provisions of this federal law may delay proceedings during active service and shortly thereafter, service members and their spouses who may wish to pursue divorce should begin the process of understanding jurisdictional rules before they submit their filings for divorce.