Military life often involves deployments, relocations, and long separations from family. This way of life is usually challenging to married life, and in some cases, it can lead to divorce. While divorce is generally stressful and time-consuming, it becomes even more complicated when it involves someone in the military, as it is subject to some special rules.
Since their job can keep military personnel overseas for a long time, the Service member Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects them against related discrimination, including in divorce proceedings. For instance, the act protects people in the military from receiving a default judgment for failing to file a divorce response in time. The act also allows veterans to file a response up to 90 days after leaving active duty.
A service member can also postpone a divorce while on active duty under SCRA. While a deployment or relocation does not stop divorce proceedings, it can delay them. Additionally, military personnel may have some work-related benefits that the court may consider marital property.
Typically, divorce proceedings involving people in the military are complex. It is advisable to seek the help of a skilled and experienced Tucson military divorce lawyer. The expert attorney will guide you through the complex legal process while protecting your interests.
Other Special Rules and Benefits
Besides the SCRA protections against a default judgment in divorce, active duty service members enjoy special military rules regarding child custody, child support, and spousal support. A military life involving frequent deployments and relocations seriously complicates child custody arrangements where one or both parents are in the military.
Typically, the military parent may not be able to adhere to a regular visitation schedule due to the nature of work. The non-military parent might have to shoulder the extra childcare burden. Additionally, a military personnel’s total entitlements, including allowances, are significant when determining child support and alimony.
Like in any other divorce, military divorce involves dividing marital property, and for veterans, marital property includes retirement benefits. Since someone’s duration in military service is a major determinant of their retirement pay, marital property division can involve thousands of dollars for some people. However, property division may also be subject to Arizona rules.
A military personnel’s former spouse may also be eligible for full medical benefits and other military benefits if;
- the marriage has lasted for at least 10 years
- the marriage and active military service overlapped for at least 10 years
However, the former spouse forfeits such benefits if they subsequently remarry. These considerations, including special military rules on child custody, child support, alimony, and property division, further complicate a military divorce.
Contact a Tucson Military Divorce Lawyer
Whether in the Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard, or the National Guard, your work can keep you overseas for months or even years. Divorcing when on active duty can be challenging, especially with court requirements to respond or file within a set time limit. However, the SCRA protects military personnel against people or processes that can exploit them as they serve the country.
Keeping up with these special rules and knowing when to file, respond or defend oneself in a divorce is often complicated. However, a Tucson military divorce attorney can help you navigate the legal process while protecting your rights. If you are in Tucson, AZ, our well-qualified and experienced Tucson military divorce attorneys at RPM Law are here for you. Contact us for a free consultation and learn more about our services.