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Can I file for a divorce if I’m deployed?

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, marriage can be challenging when one or both spouses are enrolled in the military. Even strong marriages have their rocky points, but a military marriage can be torture if you or your spouse are no longer happy. What if you are deployed when you realize you want a divorce? You and other Texans in this situation will understandably want answers.

FindLaw explains that servicemembers are usually protected from divorce proceedings when they are deployed. This means that if your spouse files for divorce while you are overseas, you generally would not have to worry about child custody or property division issues being decided in your absence. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act mandates this to allow you to focus on your vital responsibilities defending the country. However, this may make it difficult if you are the one who wants to file for divorce while you are deployed.

There are many reasons you might want a divorce in the midst of your deployment. You might have found out through social media that your spouse is cheating on you. Your child might have informed you that your spouse is abusing him or her in your absence. You may have been unhappy for a while, and the time spent apart from your spouse during your deployment made you realize you want a divorce.

However, it may be in your best interests to wait until you get home before inquiring about a divorce, although in cases where you believe your child is in danger, you would immediately notify authorities. The outcome of your divorce may also depend on the state in which you file – whether in the state you claim legal residency, the state where you are stationed or the one where your spouse lives. Therefore, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer and diligent research on how to file for divorce while serving in the military.

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