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Say, for instance, that you come to the unfortunate conclusion that you wish to separate from your spouse. However, you may be unsure as to how to go about the divorce process if your spouse is in the military and is in active service. Continue reading to learn more about divorcing someone who is in the military and how an experienced Bergen County divorce attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can point you in the right direction.

What is the residency requirement for a military divorce in the state of New Jersey?

Usually, the residency requirement for a divorce in New Jersey is that either spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least one year before filing.

Though, this requirement does not necessarily apply to a military divorce. That is, the state of New Jersey will allow a servicemember, or a spouse of a servicemember, to file for a divorce in New Jersey if the servicemember is stationed in the state. This is regardless of whether neither spouse is considered a resident of the state.

Further, spouses undergoing a military divorce have the option of filing in any of the following states:

  • The state in which the spouse of a servicemember resides.
  • The state in which the servicemember is stationed.
  • The state in which the servicemember claims legal residency once discharged or retired.

What is the process of divorcing someone who is in the military?

Much like the residency requirement, the process of settling divorce-related terms may be unique if you are divorcing someone who is in the military. For one, the New Jersey family court will review the servicemember’s Leave and Earnings Statement when determining how much child support they should be ordered if any at all.

Next, the New Jersey family court will have limited power in deciding on child custody and visitation rights until 90 days have passed since the servicemember’s deployment. With that, you cannot petition for a post-judgment modification on a custody order simply because of your former spouse’s deployment. What’s more, your former spouse may be able to designate an individual whom they trust and who has a close relationship with their child to stand in for parenting time while they attend to their military obligations.

In addition, thanks to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, you may have a chance of receiving some of your former spouse’s military pension that they accumulated while you were still married.

Lastly, it must be noted that there may be difficult regulations for child support and alimony for different branches of the military (i.e., Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, etc).

All in all, these case proceedings may become much easier with sound legal advisement from a skilled Bergen County family law attorney. Contact our firm as soon as you possibly can.

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