When a marriage breaks down to the point that divorce is the only option left, it really doesn’t matter if one is a civilian or a soldier. One still requires the services of a competent divorce lawyer, and one still needs to know the steps involved in the dissolution of the marriage. The following information deals with getting military divorce advice as well as learning about the services’ process for divorce.
Delta, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/26/2012 -- The major difference between the military divorce process and the civilian one is this: When a military person is served with divorce papers, the whole process can be “stayed” – that is, delayed – for up to 90 days if the soldier is on active duty. The Service member’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA) enables an active-duty sailor to concentrate solely on his military assignment, putting personal matters aside. When a civilian files divorce papers, it must be dealt with immediately; there is no “stay” available to him. When it comes to dividing pensions in a divorce, there is a federal law, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) that says that the state in which a military member resides can always determine the division of that member’s pension, so when filing, if the state in which the divorce petition is filed does not have laws regarding military pensions, the soon-to-be ex-spouse may not receive his portion of the pension.
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Servicemen and –women often ask if they can obtain the services of military divorce attorneys. To tell the truth, the answer is no, not exactly. While there are many people in the military’s legal corral, none of them specialize in military divorce. They can provide advice to a soldier or sailor. They can help draft legal documents. They can even negotiate on the soldier’s behalf, but they cannot represent the individual in court. The difference between that situation and a civilian divorce is that the use of the military’s legal brainpower is available to both spouses, even the one filing. No civilian can call the nearest base and ask for the same privilege. However, a civilian can go to a university’s law library and enlist the aid of law students or paralegals to answer their questions.
If one needs military divorce help , it is available in forms other than the legal network they provide. Although individual states determine child support amounts, a separated spouse can be helped by the military until the state’s judgment is pronounced. Each branch of the military (except the Air Force) has policies on how much a parent service member should pay. The military does hold these parents responsible for making their child support payments.
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