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Jurisdiction determines where military couples may divorce

There is no doubt that the men and women who chose to serve their country in the armed forces make tremendous sacrifices. Their families must also contend with circumstances that may prove difficult. A military life can be one of frequent moving for the family and extended periods away from home for the service member. As such, sometimes military couples may find it hard to maintain a healthy marriage.

If a military couple finds themselves at a point where their differences have become irreconcilable, they may decide that a divorce is their best option. But one of the complications a military couple may face is deciding which state to file for a divorce in.

Typically, when civilians divorce, they simply file in their state of residence. But often, a military couple may decide to get divorced when the service member is on active deployment and is someplace other than his or her place of residence.

A military couple can only file for divorce in a state that has the authority, or "jurisdiction." Typically, for a state to have jurisdiction in a military divorce case, it must meet one of the following qualifications:

  • It is the state in which the military spouse claims legal residency.
  • It is the state in which the military spouse is stationed.
  • Is the state in which spouse who filed for the divorce resides.

It is very important to remember that decisions regarding child custody, child support and property division will all be in accordance with the laws maintained by the state in which the divorce is filed. Therefore, you may wish to carefully research the states which can hold jurisdiction to your divorce prior to filing the petition.

An experienced military divorce attorney may be able to help you make the best decisions for filing for divorce. The attorney could also possibly help protect your interests as you proceed through the divorce process.

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