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What service personnel should know about military divorce

While a military divorce does have its challenges, it is typically not much harder than a civilian divorce. In addition to the same stresses and emotional issues inherent in a non-military split, the divorcing parties must see to a few select regulations and rules to complete the breakup.

A few of the non-traditional elements involved in a military divorce are:

Establishing jurisdiction, which usually means identifying the location in which the person legally resides. It is where authority to hear the case usually resides.

At the same time, some states will permit divorcing couples to choose from these three options for filing: state in which the filing spouse resides; state in which the military spouse resides; or the state in which the military spouse is currently serving. Since our military personnel is vital to the safety of our country, these state governments are willing to overlook or reduce their traditional requirements for residency.

The chosen state will then have jurisdiction to handle the divorce and all of its ancillary aspects such as child custody, child support and division of property. It is important to know that the military enforces certain rules and regulations to ensure regarding the service member's spouse after divorce. Essentially, if the marriage lasted 20 or more years, the spouse will be entitled to certain ongoing benefits.

These elements of military divorce are not as complicated as they may seem; however, any service member considering divorce should look for legal guidance before moving forward. A divorce attorney can explain the state and federal laws associated with divorce as well as guide the service member through the divorce proceedings. Texas is a big military state and most divorce attorneys practicing here have a well-developed grasp of the regulations surrounding military divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "Military Divorce," accessed May. 24, 2015

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