Being a member of the military comes with additional privileges as well as responsibilities, and may also mean that standard legal matters are handled differently from civilian cases. One such legal matter that has a somewhat unique process for military members is that of divorce. If you are seeking divorce either as a member of the military or someone who is married to a military member, working with an experienced family law attorney can help. Call Attorney Heather M. Ward today to learn more. 

What’s Different Between a Military Divorce and a Civilian Divorce?

While the grounds for divorce and issues that are considered during a divorce are the same for both military members and civilians, there are some specific issues that could present during a military divorce. For example, if the military member is stationed abroad, spouses may be unsure as to how to initiate the divorce process and when and how divorce hearings will occur. Additionally, there are protections for those who are entering active duty from certain civil judgements. Finally, a court may also need to consider issues such as division of military retirement benefits, as well as child custody determinations when a parent is living abroad. 

What Are Spouse Entitlements During a Military Divorce?

When a person who is married to a military member gets divorced, there are certain things that they are entitled to. For example, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act provides former spouses who do not get remarried with certain benefits, including access to healthcare at military treatment facilities, a portion of retirement pay in some cases, and special benefits to victims of abuse. In addition to these, couples getting a divorce will also be subject to Massachusetts’ laws related to equitable division of property, child custody, and spousal support. 

Can I Get Divorced When Deployed Overseas?

While being overseas while on military deployment can make getting a divorce a little more complex, filing for a divorce is still possible. That being said, the complaint or petition for divorce must be filed in the state where the military member claims legal residence. If the petition for divorce is filed by the non-military spouse, a designated official on the military base will generally serve as the person who serves the divorce papers. Note that it is possible for the spouse who is on active duty to request a stay—this means that the divorce process can be put on hold. 

Get the Legal Support You Need Today

When getting divorced from a member of the military or as a member of the military, there are certain considerations and rules that may make the divorce more confusing. In all cases, however, divorce is a legally and emotionally complex process that should be taken seriously and pursued with legal representation. At The Law Office of Heather M. Ward, our experienced divorce attorney is here to serve you. For your consultation, call us today at (617) 903-8955 or reach out online.