Our Webster, TX divorce attorneys explain some of the differences between civilian divorce and those involving military members.
Being married and having a supportive partner can be a comfort for military personnel. However, these marriages often face additional types of strain and stress not encountered by civilian couples. As a result, divorce rates are higher among military members. When a marriage does break up, the divorce process is somewhat different, as well.
Issues can crop up in any marriage that can cause one or both parties to contemplate a separation or divorce. The special demands made of military members and the often-extended time they must spend away from home take an additional toll on them and their partners. Unfortunately, this tends to result in greater divorce rates.
According to MarketWatch, divorce rates in general are higher in the military, particularly among those who are deployed overseas. When divorce happens, the process can be more complicated but there are certain provisions put in place designed to protect them. One of the major ways in which military divorce differs is in regards to the time frames for filing and serving divorce petitions and other, related documents. For active military members, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides some protections:
- It can help to prevent default judgements due to failure to respond within appropriate time frames. If you are served with a divorce petition, you have 20 days to respond with a counterclaim. This deadline is waived for military members.
- It allows you to postpone important proceedings you are not able to attend. Divorce related hearings involving division of marital assets and child custody have the potential to impact you for years in the future. As an active military member, you can request a ‘stay’ or postponement of these proceedings until you can be present for them.
Military divorce cases generally take longer than those in which both parties are civilians. It can also impact where your divorce petition is filed. Military members do have the right to file for divorce in states where they are stationed, despite having established residency in another area.
One of the biggest issues for couples in military divorces concerns entitlement to certain benefits. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act governs the non-military member spouse’s rights to the following:
- Spousal support, which may be taken directly from the military members pay;
- Child support payments, which the military is vigilant in enforcing and will also be deducted from their pay;
- Military retirement benefits, which a spouse may be entitled to depending on the length of the marriage;
- Health care and base privileges, which are additional benefits civilian spouses may claim.
At Scott M. Brown & Associates, you can trust our experienced in handling military divorce cases to protect your rights and help you get what you are entitled to in a settlement. Call or contact our Webster military divorce attorneys online to request a confidential consultation today.