Divorce is not only emotionally challenging but can also have significant financial implications. If you're
How does being in the military affect my divorce?
Divorce is a complex legal process that can be especially challenging for military couples. Military service can have a significant impact on divorce cases, including issues related to property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support. In this blog, we'll explore some of the ways that being in the military can affect a divorce case and offer some tips for navigating these issues.
One of the most significant ways that being in the military can impact a divorce case is through jurisdictional issues. Military members are often stationed in different states or even different countries, which can make it difficult to determine which court has jurisdiction over the divorce case. In addition, military members may be subject to different laws and regulations depending on their location and status.
Service Members Civil Relief Act
The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that provides protections for military members who are facing legal proceedings, including divorce. The SCRA allows military members to postpone or stay civil court proceedings while they are on active duty. This can be especially helpful for military members who are deployed overseas or who are otherwise unable to attend court proceedings.
Property division can be a significant issue in divorce cases, especially for military couples. In Illinois, marital property is divided equitably between the parties. This includes property acquired during the marriage, including retirement accounts, real estate, and personal property. However, it's important to understand that not all assets are created equal when it comes to military divorce. For example, military pensions and benefits may be subject to different rules and regulations, and it's important to work with an experienced divorce attorney who understands the complexities of military property division.
Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, can also be a significant issue in military divorce cases. In Illinois, spousal maintenance is awarded based on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, the income and earning potential of each party, and the standard of living established during the marriage. However, the rules for spousal maintenance in military divorce cases can be complex, and it's important to work with an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of military spousal maintenance.
Child Custody and Support
Child custody and support can also be challenging issues in military divorce cases. Military service can make it difficult for parents to maintain consistent parenting schedules and can impact the ability of the non-military parent to seek custody or support. In addition, child support calculations can be complicated for military couples, especially when one parent is receiving military benefits.
Tips for Navigating Military Divorce Cases
Hire an Experienced Military Divorce Attorney: Military divorce cases can be especially complex, and it's important to work with an experienced attorney who understands the unique issues involved. Your attorney can help you navigate jurisdictional issues, property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, and support.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution: Alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, can be especially helpful for military couples. These methods can help parties reach a resolution more quickly and amicably, which can be especially important for military members who are facing deployment or other time constraints.
Be Prepared for SCRA Protections: If you are a military member facing divorce, it's important to be aware of your rights under the SCRA. This can include protections related to postponing or staying civil court proceedings while on active duty.
Keep Your Children's Best Interests in Mind: If you have children, it's important to keep their best interests in mind throughout the divorce process. This means prioritizing their emotional and physical well-being, and working together with your spouse to create a parenting plan that works for everyone.
Stay Organized: Whether you are going through a military divorce or not, it's important to stay organized throughout the process. Keep copies of all documents related to the divorce, including financial records, property deeds, and court filings. This can help you stay on top of deadlines and ensure that you have all the necessary information to make informed decisions.
Be Prepared for Changes in Benefits: If you or your spouse are in the military, it's important to be prepared for changes in military benefits as a result of the divorce. This may include changes in health insurance coverage, retirement benefits, or other benefits. It's important to work with an attorney who understands the complexities of military benefits and can help you navigate these issues.
In conclusion, being in the military can have a significant impact on divorce cases, including issues related to jurisdiction, property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support. By working with an experienced military divorce attorney, considering alternative dispute resolution methods, being aware of your rights under the SCRA, keeping your children's best interests in mind, staying organized, and being prepared for changes in military benefits, you can navigate the divorce process with greater ease and achieve a more positive outcome.
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Introduction Divorce is a challenging and emotional process, particularly when children are involved