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Are There Special Rules When Divorcing Someone in the Military?

Posted on: June 26, 2019

Are There Special Rules When Divorcing Someone in the Military?

If you are married to a member of the military and contemplating a divorce, it can be a scary prospect. Unlike a normal civilian divorce, there are many nuances that need to be taken into consideration. When considering a military divorce, it’s understandable that you’ll have a litany of questions running through your mind. In this article, we hope to clear some of those questions up!

How can I serve divorce papers to a spouse in the military?

When serving papers to a spouse in the military, there can be some complications. If your spouse is out of state or deployed overseas, it can be difficult to contact them. If your spouse resides in or is stationed in California, you can file divorce papers in a California court. However, in order for the court to be granted jurisdiction, your military spouse will need to be personally served a copy of the summons.

Is there a time extension for the divorce proceedings if a spouse is in the military?

In California, if a civilian wants to get divorced they can do so through a “default” termination if the other party does not respond within 6 months. However, that is not always possible for members of the military, so there are different laws in place. The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act specifies that a divorce proceeding should be postponed while the service member is on active duty and for 60 days upon their return,

Are there special support and property division provisions in a military divorce?

There are certain considerations that need to be made in a military divorce concerning child support, spousal support, and property division. For example, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act allows for a spouse to receive a portion of the service member’s retirement benefits if they were married for at least 10 years of active military duty. There are other considerations that also need to be made that only pertain to military divorces in California.

Do I need to hire an attorney for a military divorce?

Yes! Because of special provisions like deferment of divorce for active duty members and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, it is important to have a knowledgeable family law attorney who has experience with military divorces.

Contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP for an Experienced Military Divorce Attorney!

If you are considering divorcing a spouse in the military you need an experienced family law attorney like Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP on your side. There are different rules that get applied to a military divorce and we will fight tirelessly to make sure you get a fair deal. Contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP today at 909-482-1422 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.

Kristina Kendall-Gkikas
Kendall & Gkikas LLP
143 N. Harvard Avenue, 2nd Floor
Claremont, CA, 91711 USA