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What makes military divorce cases different from civilian divorce cases?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Divorce

Going through a divorce is life-changing. However, if you or your spouse is in the military, you will likely need to follow some special rules and regulations. Continue to read for more information about what may impact your military divorce.

Special rules and regulations

One of the primary factors to consider during a divorce if you or your spouse are active in the military, is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA. This federally recognized law essentially helps prevent service members from becoming negatively impacted in the U.S. if deployed abroad.

The SCRA typically will allow the military spouse the option of delaying court dates and rulings because of his or her career. However, you will still need to work within the judicial system to finalize your divorce. If you are going through a military divorce, it may be helpful to utilize the services of an attorney to help you with your case and ensure that you are responding to the court system promptly.

Also, it is important to know that once your divorce case is finalized, you must abide by the court order. Military regulations dictate that military members who fail to honor their divorce order, disobey their commanding officer or dishonor the military can be court-martialed.

Dividing assets, custody, visitation and support

When it comes to dividing assets, you should know that your military divorce may also differ from one that is civilian. For example, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) allows the military to categorize military retirement pay as property and not income, among other items.

Furthermore, while in the past, being in the military often made it more complicated to gain custody of your children, many states are changing their guidelines to be less punitive for military parents. Most states now take into consideration the best interests of the child and use that measure as a basis for making final decisions regarding custody and visitation.

Many challenges are present during a military divorce. However, with the knowledge gained from above, you should now better understand what you may need to navigate your military divorce and which laws and requirements will apply after your divorce decree is issued.