When you’re deployed, the last thing you want to have to worry about is a divorce. Your spouse might have decided to start the process, but you don’t have to worry about rulings being made against you while you’re away. In fact, military members can ask for a stay while on deployment, so no further court actions will be taken.
There are also protections in place to prevent you from suffering from default judgments made because of being unable to appear in court. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act takes into account that you may be unable to appear in court for various reasons and helps protect you against unfair treatment.
Is a military divorce really different from a civilian divorce?
Not really, except for a few small differences. A military divorce is still a civil matter, just like it is for civilians. Military spouses do benefit from access to military legal services and protections through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Some spouses are also given benefits under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act, which allows un-remarried former spouses to continue to receive commissary, theater and exchange privileges and other benefits if they meet the 20-20-20 rule (they have been married 20 years coinciding with the service member’s 20 years in service).
Overall, all divorces are the same, but there are a few minor differences that could affect you during a military divorce. Our site has more on what you can expect if you’re going through a military divorce and how to protect yourself and your interests if you’re deployed.