Under the law, military personnel seeking a divorce are no different than the civilian population, so the process is basically the same. However, for active-duty military and their spouses, there are additional factors that come into play for a military divorce.
Best Military Divorce Lawyers in San Diego
Our experienced military divorce attorneys at JWB Family Law can help you with each step of the military divorce process.
How to Get a Divorce in the Military in California
California law requires at least one spouse to have residency in California in order to file for divorce. Additionally, the filing must occur in either your, or your spouse’s, residing county.
In order to claim California as your state of legal residence, you must have been a resident for at least six months. In order to file in a county, you must have lived in the county for at least three months, and file your petition for divorce in the local Superior Court.
At the time of filing your petition for divorce, your spouse must be notified (personally served), but they do not have to be stationed in the same state.
Considering Location in a Military Divorce
If the military service member is currently assigned to a permanent duty station outside the United States, or is currently serving in a remote area outside the country, the divorce processes will take considerably longer. Although military spouses must file for a divorce in the county and state in which they hold legal residence, that issue can become cloudy for military families that have recently moved to a new duty station.
Notification Requirements in a Military Divorce
Another factor that affects military families is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Among other legal protections, this law protects members from civil judicial proceedings—including a divorce summons. The SCRA provides the court the authority to delay divorce proceedings for the duration of the spouse’s active duty, depending on deployment status and other factors. If there are difficulties relating to notifying the deployed spouse, your divorce proceedings could face significant delay.
Yet another area where complications can arise is finances. When considering a divorce, military families should become familiar with the provisions of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). This statute relates to final Judgments that address court orders regarding child support issues, spousal support, military retirement pay and pensions, and survivor benefits. Your family attorney can ensure payment of these court orders is enforced under the USFSPA.
Seeking for Expert Military Divorce Attorney in San Diego County
If you or your spouse are a member of the military, your divorce needs to be handled differently than a divorce in the civilian population. The certified family law specialists at JWB Family Law offer the expertise you need to help you understand your rights and responsibilities.