Divorce is divorce, regardless of whether it’s between military personnel or civilians, right? Not exactly, as it turns out. In California there are residency requirements for filing and other issues for military members. The following will endeavor to clarify these differences in military divorce in California so those about to go through this process will be better prepared to do it well.
Pittsfield, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/21/2012 -- For a California court to have jurisdiction over a military divorce case, it is best to personally deliver the summons to the active duty member. The problem is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. One of the differences affecting military divorce in California is that the serving of the petition for divorce to an active duty military member can be very difficult. This Act says that the active duty soldier or sailor cannot be held responsible for not responding to the summons, but it does not permit the military spouse to ignore it altogether, either. The Act also means that the divorce process can be delayed for the entire time a military person is on active duty and for 60 days afterwards. The court can appoint a substitute person to serve the papers if the military member does not contest this idea.
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There have been changes made to federal laws governing military divorce in California. When there are children involved in the proceedings and a parent is on active duty in a foreign land, the serving of divorce documents must be facilitated by federal agencies and uniformed service members. Despite differences in California’s civilian divorce processes, the federal government holds sway over the dispensation of military pensions by passing the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act in 1982. This Act means that the distribution or lack thereof of a retired military person’s pension must be decided upon by the state family court judge, not a military one. The Act also stipulates that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) will pay the former spouse’s portion of a retired military man’s pension if the marriage and the soldier’s service overlapped by a period of 10 years. If the service and the marriage don’t overlap by 10 years, the pension check must be written by the retired military member rather than the DFAS.
The aforementioned residency requirements for military divorce in California are simple enough: The service member must be stationed in California or she and her spouse must be stationed there. Grounds for civilian and military divorce both are the same. Also, the amount of child support and/or spousal support cannot exceed 60% of a military member’s pay.
http://Legal-yogi.com , an online repository of all manner of law across the country, is located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, has more information on this topic and is happy to share it with interested parties.