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Military divorce and its complications in Tennessee

In Tennessee, divorce cases may broadly be classified as fault or no fault cases. Fault cases generally include those where either party is accused of any form of misconduct. The no fault divorce cases are usually those in which there's an irreconcilable difference between the spouses. Divorce cases include issues like child custody, visitation rights, child support, division of property and spousal support. But when it comes to military divorce cases, matters tend to get a little more complex.

There are laws that protect serving military personnel, even if they fail to respond to the divorce action and appear before the court due to military deployment. A soldier can complete the entire divorce process while being on deputation. But the grounds in which a divorce can be filed remain the same for both civilian and military divorces. More information about military divorces can be found from an earlier post on this blog.

To file a military divorce, either of the spouses must reside in Tennessee or be deployed there. According to the law in Tennessee, military retirement benefits fall under marital property and is subject to division after divorce. The share of the spouse may depend entirely on the length of the marriage and during this tenure, how many years were spent in active military services. But, the federal laws will not allow distribution of the military retirement benefit to the spouse unless they have been married for 10 years or longer while one spouse served actively in the military.

The child support or spouse support alimony may not exceed 60 percent of the military allowance. Spouses can seek help of civilian attorneys, and in case of a contested divorce, pay for the charges individually. Military divorce cases may bring into open unique issues that are very different from those in civilian divorce cases. An attorney who is experienced in handling complex military divorce cases may be consulted for a better understanding of this law.

Source: Knox.Army.mil, "Tennessee Divorce Law," Accessed on April 3, 2015

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