To file for a military divorce, at least one spouse has to be a member of the armed forces. Military divorces are fairly common, and couples seeking a divorce should know that certain rules apply in these situations, especially when they involve military personnel who are deployed.
A Chattanooga military divorce lawyer could guide you through the unique aspects of these proceedings, such as dividing military pensions and retirement pay. You may need a dedicated divorce attorney to help you understand and resolve the issues that often arise in any marriage dissolution process.
The primary differences between a military divorce and a civilian divorce are the rules that apply to a member of the military who is on active deployment. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act states that deployed military members have the right to have an attorney in Chattanooga represent them in a divorce case.
Even if a couple decides to divorce while both residing inside the country, jurisdiction issues may still be relevant, as servicemembers often reside out of state on military bases. The court will likely consider the serviceperson’s permanent residence for the most recent six months and where their permanent residence was located before they moved on base. For instance, if a member of the military lives on a base in North Carolina, but if their residence was in Tennessee prior to being moved to North Carolina, Tennessee will have jurisdiction over the case.
When a spouse is deployed or on active duty at the time of the divorce, the other spouse will need to communicate with the military spouse’s commanding officer. Their commanding officer should direct the other spouse to the legal representative who will handle the divorce for the military spouse. The other spouse can then serve the officer who is handling the divorce on behalf of the military spouse.
Active duty or deployment can delay the divorce process because the military spouse has the same right to fight their case that any other person has. The law will not penalize a serviceperson for being on active duty or limit their ability to defend their case, which can extend the process. A knowledgeable lawyer in Chattanooga could work diligently to make the military divorce proceedings as efficient as possible.
Another major issue in military divorces, as opposed to civilian divorces, is the division of military retirement pay or military pensions. Civilian spouses are entitled to military pensions and benefits from their ex-spouse.
By having been married to a service member, a civilian ex-spouse can receive benefits from the military even after the marriage has ended. If the military spouse accumulates benefits from their service, their spouse has a right to a percentage of those benefits.
The right of protection with regard to typical issues in divorces, like the right to division of property and debts, custodial rights, and rights for continued child support and alimony, does not change in military divorces. However, some issues are particular to military members’ income, such as housing allowances, retirement pay, and disability pay, all of which will be considered during asset division and child support calculations.
Health coverage also might not change during a military divorce. Many service members are covered under TRICARE. Civilian spouses of servicemembers typically have the right to continue their TRICARE coverage after divorce, whereas civilian couples often do not have a right to continued healthcare coverage after they dissolve their marriage. A local military divorce lawyer could help an individual determine if they are eligible for this benefit.
Military divorces are governed by a separate set of rules that must be followed in order to bring the case before the court. Unless a spouse has an attorney who has experience handling military divorces, the case could be difficult to navigate and properly execute.
An experienced Chattanooga military divorce lawyer could help you navigate the end of your marriage by utilizing their extensive knowledge of the different rules and procedures. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.