Whenever a military family goes through a divorce, exceptional issues occur. Better decisions and more equitable outcomes will result from an understanding of the complexities involved in a military divorce. These are just a few of the most common problems that people run into. In a military divorce, there are additional legal issues that must be taken into consideration. You can check your military status by visiting this website.

In which state should divorce papers be filed?

Both spouses are allowed to file for divorce in the state where they reside legally. As a result, most divorces are initiated in the state where the divorcing party has lived for at least six months.

Knowing how military pensions are divided in the state where the divorce is taking place is critical. Military pensions are divided in accordance with the federal law known as the “Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act” (USFSPA).

In the event of a divorce, this federal law stipulates that the military member’s state of legal residence has the exclusive right to divide his or her military pension. This means that in states where the military member has no legal residence, courts may be unable to divide their pensions if you file for divorce in that state. However, if a military member does not consent to the court’s division of the pension, other state laws may also have an impact on the pension’s fate. There are many pitfalls and traps that can be avoided if you seek legal advice on these issues.

The division of the military pension and the possibility of divorce in a particular state should be investigated prior to filing for divorce in that state.

Is it possible for a military member to slow down the divorce process?

“Serving” divorce papers to one spouse usually necessitate an “answer,” which must be filed within a predetermined time frame. After that, the court will set a date for the next stage of the divorce proceedings. There are some exceptions to this rule if one of the parties is serving in the military. The “Servicemembers Civil Relief Act,” or SCRA, is the name of this piece of legislation.

In the event that their duties prevent them from taking part in or responding to the court action, active-duty service members can use the SCRA to request a “stay” in a divorce or other claims (such as spousal support, custody, child support, property division, and military division). At least 90 days are required for the initial “stay.” The divorce can be postponed for up to 90 days, but it cannot be postponed indefinitely. As long as the military member’s duties prevent them from participating in the court action, the “stay” is in place.

In order to secure a “stay,” you must submit a written request. Depending on the rules of court in your state, you may need to present your case in a different way.

How can I get a lawyer from the military?

Attorneys from each branch of the military can be found at most military installations. Although these lawyers can’t legally represent you in a divorce, they can still be useful in other ways.

They’re also capable of doing this:

  • write letters on your behalf
  • document review and revision
  • will speak up for you when it comes to negotiating, and
  • answer questions, including those from your own lawyer if you have one.

There are military legal assistance attorneys available to military spouses at all military bases and in all branches of the service. Most of the time, hiring a civilian attorney is the best option. Non-military legal aid organizations may be able to assist you if you have a low income.

What is the process for determining and enforcing child support?

State law dictates the amount of child support in a divorce. It is usually based on the servicemember’s total entitlements (basic pay, housing allowance, subsistence allowance, and any other special pay). Only a court can typically alter a child support order once it has been made. Either another court hearing or the other party’s written consent, outlined in a “consent order,” are required to change the amount.

However, if you need help before a court has decided on the amount of child support, the military can assist you. For the sake of their children, military personnel is obligated to pay child support. Except for the Air Force, every service has specific guidelines governing how much the parent is required to pay. In order to get child support, contact the legal assistance attorney on base or your spouse’s commanding officer. When it comes time to decide on child support, the court has the authority to do so based on the state’s laws, rules, and guidelines.

A court’s decision on child support is typically based on the state’s guidelines. It is critical for military families that the court understands the various components of a service member’s pay. The court should also be aware of the fact that deployments, base transfers, and other factors could affect the amount of compensation.

In most cases, states allow for the “garnishment,” or wage assignment, of child support obligations. Submit the order to the military pay center immediately if you have one. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is responsible for all armed forces except the Coast Guard (DFAS). Before DFAS will provide a “wage garnishment,” this order must meet specific criteria (i.e. direct payments to the family). Is it enough to simply hand over the divorce papers? The pay center can comply with the order if the local JAG or military legal assistance attorney can explain how to do so.


As a service member and his or her spouse prepare to divorce, they must be aware of the legal issues that affect military divorces. Military divorces present a unique set of legal challenges that are not faced by civilians. Help is on the way. These are areas of law in which some private attorneys specialize. If you’re going through a divorce, the military legal assistance lawyers on military bases may be able to help you with some of these issues.