Determining where to file a military divorce

It's relatively easy for a civilian in Utah to determine where to file for a divorce. It is typically the state in which they live. A military divorce, on the other hand, requires a comprehensive examination of certain circumstances before a choice about where to file can be made. These factors differ depending on the particular situation and state in question, and each one should be evaluated individually.

A military divorce can get complicated for numerous reasons, but the most obvious is due to the fact that most service members move around a lot. In some situations, there may be owned real estate in one state, taxes paid in another and non-custodial children living in a third. Determining between the three may be difficult. Further clouding the issue is the fact that every state has different laws for divorce. Some are no-fault states, where a divorce can be filed on grounds of irreconcilable differences; while others may have law limiting distribution of a military pension to the spouse of a service member.

There are certain things that should be taken into account when deciding where to file. Important factors include where one is registered to vote, pays taxes, maintains a banking account and holds a drivers license. If more than two of these are true, that is a good choice for the state of jurisdiction. However, depending on the situation, other aspects may hold sway over the decision. Thus, every situation must be approached differently.

The basic law behind a military divorce is fairly similar to that of the civilian variety. An attorney practicing family law may be able to help with the issues, such as determining where to file, that are different and unique to the military. Most cases may require an objective eye on the part of the lawyer and knowledge of family law across a wide range of states.

Source: Military.com, "Military Divorce: Why Where You File Matters", November 04, 2014

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