Military divorces involve many factors that make them different from regular civilian divorces. If you or your spouse is an active member of the military, it’s important to understand these elements of a military divorce and how they may influence your divorce proceedings.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law enacted to help servicemembers focus on their missions abroad by protecting them from unexpected personal issues or circumstances.
In addition to stopping foreclosures and evictions, the SCRA also allows servicemembers to delay divorce proceedings. Under the SCRA, the courts can be stopped from making permanent decisions until service members can attend hearings in person.
Filing for Divorce in the Right State
Military divorces are also often complicated by location. In many instances, the military spouse serves in one state or country, while the other spouse lives elsewhere. This creates a difficult decision of where to file for divorce, since a divorce isn’t valid unless the courts establish jurisdiction over both spouses.
It’s best for soon-to-be ex-military spouses to file for divorce in one of these states:
- Where the military spouse lives
- Where the military spouse is a resident
- A different state agreed upon by both spouses
Calculating Child Support or Spousal Support in a Military Divorce
Military divorces also handle child support and spousal support calculations differently than civilians. Child support is determined by state law and assessed on total entitlements of the servicemember. Each arm of the military outlines its own rules on how much servicemember parents should pay toward child support.
As for spousal support, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) plays a major role in calculations during divorce proceedings. The USFSPA is a federal law that allows the military to classify military retirement pay as property instead of income. If the divorcing couple’s marriage lasted for a specific amount of time, the divorcing spouse is eligible for certain benefits.
To get the help and support you need navigating your own military divorce, call Caveda Law Firm today at (813) 463-0800. Caveda Law has been dedicated to protecting families in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas for more than 25 years.