Divorce is a difficult transition for every family, no matter what the profession of each spouse is. However, when one spouse is working in the military, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account.

Specific issues that can arise as a divorcing military spouse can be in relation to being on active duty. For example, you may not be able to respond to a divorce action because you are serving oversees. When this is the case in California, there is a law to protect military members from being held in default.

How does a military divorce differ from any other divorce?

Going through a divorce in the military has many of the same concerns and emotions as divorces involving individuals in other professions. However, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account due to your position in the military. These include the assets that you have in the form of military benefits, that may need to be divided between you and your former spouse. In addition, the future child custody situation must be assessed, taking into account the likelihood that you will need to serve on active duty in the future.

In which state should I file for divorce?

Options military members often have for where to file include the state that they reside in, the state that their former spouse resides in and the state in which they are stationed. For example, if you are stationed in California but legally reside in Nevada, it is typically acceptable for you to file for divorce in the state of California.

Will my former spouse be entitled to military benefits in California?

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) gives the former spouses the right to a share of military benefits in some situations. They will also be eligible for medical, exchange and commissary privileges if you were married and serving in the military simultaneously for at least 20 years.

If you are seeking a divorce as a member of the military, it is important that you consider the ways that your assets will be divided and matters that could impact your kids and your relationship with them.

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