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How are military divorces different from civilian divorces?

It's not that military divorces are more complicated than normal divorces, it's just that specific rules and requirements apply to them. This article will discuss several considerations that make military divorces unique.

Military divorce falls under the category of both federal and Tennessee laws. For example, federal laws will dictate the court that presides over a military divorce, and it will also determine how to divvy up a military pension. State laws, on the other hand, will affect the way spousal support and alimony decisions are made.

Interestingly, active-duty service personnel are largely protected from being divorced. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act states that men and women cannot begin divorce proceedings or be sued while they are on active duty, nor can they be for a period of 60 days after their active duty (under court discretion). This is a rule that exists so that military service members can devote their energy and time to the process of defending our country.

Prior to a court granting a military divorce, the court must receive authority to hear the case. In most situations relating to a normal divorce, jurisdiction will be the location where the individual lives. In military divorces, jurisdiction might be the location of permanent residence -- even if the military service person is on duty in another location.

These are just a few considerations that are unique to military divorces. There are certainly a lot more, especially with regard to military pensions and benefits. Because a lot of money could be at stake pertaining to the division of military benefits, service persons will want to discuss their divorce process with a qualified divorce attorney who is experienced with military divorce proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce in the military," accessed July 15, 2016

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