Residence and jurisdiction in military divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Military Divorce on Thursday, February 12, 2015.

We often talk about how military divorce is vastly different and more complex than civilian divorce, but you may find yourself wondering about some of the specific ways in which military divorce is different. The best way to learn is to consult with an attorney who is experienced in the matter, but to give military couples an idea of what they could expect, consider the issues of residency and jurisdiction.

When a court hears a divorce case, in order for the divorce to be granted legally, the court that hears the case must have jurisdiction to do so. For most couples, this is not a large concern, since civilian couples will likely conduct the hearing at a nearby court, the court will have jurisdiction because the couple lives there. However, military members often live in many different places in a short time, and sometimes they are not even stationed in the place where they are living.

There is no definite answer when it comes to determining jurisdiction in a military divorce, so it is beneficial to discuss your circumstances with an attorney to help you determine how you should proceed. Oftentimes, the state or area in which the military member holds legal residence is where courts have jurisdiction, but you may be stationed elsewhere, making it difficult to appear in court. This is why some states are lenient with their residency requirements. You can hold residence in New York, but if you are station in Missouri, you may still be able to file for divorce in our state.

For an even great list of issues military divorces may have to deal with, you can read this article. There are also brief explanations on how to deal with these issues, but it is important to remember that circumstances are unique to every case. If you are seriously considering a divorce and your or your spouse are in the military, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney.

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