A military divorce isn’t always simple. Sometimes, there are delays, and you might be frustrated with the whole process. For example, you might file for divorce in January, but if your spouse leaves on duty in February, you might end up with a stay. A stay will prevent any rulings until they can appear in court (in most cases). Courts can extend those stays in some cases, or they can ask for appointed counsel to appear on behalf of the service member.
You should be aware that the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act does allow for a stay, but that doesn’t mean that your spouse can ignore the divorce. If your spouse is out of the country and fails to file a stay or just plain ignores the divorce papers without seeking a stay, then the case might be able to move forward without them.
The purpose of a stay is to prevent unfair treatment of military members when they can’t appear in court for important trials or hearings. However, just being in the military won’t give them a free pass.
What happens if a stay is requested?
If a stay is requested, it usually lasts for 90 days upon the initial application’s approval. The court has the ability to grant an additional extension up to 90 days longer. Longer stays are rare, but they may be necessary in some instances. The goal is to give the military member a chance to participate in the divorce.
Our website has more information on how a stay could affect you if you are filing for divorce from your military spouse.