When you are facing a divorce in the military community it is very important to take steps to ensure you are filing in the right location. With the nomadic life of military families it is very common to live, marry, and then divorce in different states.
Differing Divorce Laws
There are some general differences between a civil and military divorce that must be considered. One of the main differences is that couples have a choice of where they choose to file, which can prove advantageous, depending on the states available. Divorce laws differ from state to state and this can have a direct effect on each party and the overall outcome of the settlement.
Where to File
Keep in mind it is not always the official home of record that will have jurisdiction. As well, the state in which you were married also does not come into play unless you established residency there. Adding to the confusion, if one spouse has established residency in a state, the other does not have to live there to file for divorce. However, both parties must be in agreement that they are willing to file for divorce in the state.
Basics of Choosing Location
There are some basic questions you can ask to determine which state makes the most sense including:
- Where do you vote
- Where do you pay state taxes
- Where do you have bank accounts
- Where were you issued driver’s licenses
- Where were you issued car titles
- Where do you attend church
- Where do you qualify for in-state college tuition
- Where do you own property and pay property taxes
All of these factors are key to establishing residency.
Avoid Travel to Hearing
Whenever possible, filing in the state where you live is also more convenient. Otherwise you will be faced with the cost of getting to the hearing. This adds to the cost of the divorce.
Speaking to a family lawyer who understands military divorce will also help you find the state that will be the most beneficial to you. Looking at a state with “no-fault” divorces allows you to divorce without the need to explain why the marriage is ending. It is the easiest way to simply claim you have irreconcilable differences and separate amiably and with less stress.
Gary Williams, at The Law Firm For Family Law holds the distinction of being one of only 18 board certified experts in Marital and Family Law in Pinellas County, Florida. Our firm is well-versed in the challenges of finding the right location to file for your military divorce and will litigate your issues in court for the best possible outcome.
We invite you to call our dedicated attorneys today at (727) 531-8737 to find out how we can help your case.