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Which state has jurisdiction in a military divorce?

You've been with your spouse for several years, but the strain of being in the military, moving and trying to start a family has proven to be too much. You've drifted apart, and you believe it's a good idea to part ways.

A military divorce has its own set of challenges. There are special requirements and rules that you'll need to follow.

Interestingly, a military divorce is governed not only by the federal government but also by state laws. That means that your retirement and pension might have its division determined by federal guidelines whereas your right to spousal support could be determined at the state level.

Since both the state and government play a role in your case, it's a good idea to look into the state that will have jurisdiction. There is a chance that more than one state will have jurisdiction in your case if you and your spouse live in different states or if you travel and claim legal residency in a state other than where you're stationed.

The state with jurisdiction has its own laws and statutes that apply to divorces, so the goal for you and your attorney should be to file the divorce in the state that has laws that benefit you. For example, if the state where you're stationed has alimony guidelines whereas the state where you claim legal residency does not, it might be a better idea to file in the state where you're stationed, so you know what to expect from the court.

Before you file, consider the different states and what their laws mean for you. It could make a world of difference in your divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "Military Divorce," accessed Aug. 09, 2017

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