When spouses are thinking of divorce and one or both spouses are current or former members of the military, there are often questions associated with their military service. This is because being a military member affects how divorce is handled from a legal standpoint. There are actually pluses and minuses associated with filing a military divorce in comparison to a regular civilian divorce. For example, jurisdiction can have unique effects on the filing of a military divorce.
Jurisdiction is just a fancy word describing who has the authority to hear or determine a case. For example, in a civilian divorce, you must almost always file in your state of residency with few exceptions. However, in a military divorce, jurisdiction could be found in many places. For example a military member could file for divorce in their state of residency, in the state where they are stationed or even in the state that the soon-to-be ex-spouse resides in.
This is why Tennessee may be the state of filing for many military divorces. With several military bases located around and within the state, Tennessee is a state that processes military divorce for both visiting and permanent residents. Once a place to file has been established, issues of child custody and military benefits can be explored. These also differ in a military divorce in comparison to civilian divorce, in some respects.
Some military members may be misinformed to think that it isn’t possible to complete their divorce during active deployment. This isn’t true and with the many choices for place of jurisdiction, it can be a more accessible process than in comparison to civilian divorce. Because technology enables contact from great distances (like overseas) there is no reason that paperwork and such cannot be filed from a distance. Emails and phone calls can serve as great tools when processing a military divorce.
Source: FindLaw, “Military Divorce,” Accessed April 4, 2016