Understanding Residency Requirements for Military Divorce

- Gary E. Williams

In many ways a military divorce is similar to a civilian divorce — a couple splits because they’ve grown apart. But the stress on a military family is much different than that on a civilian family, and the process of divorce encompasses both state and federal law. Even knowing where to file for divorce can be difficult for those in the service.

You may have been married in New York, stationed in Germany and are now deployed and living in Florida. The Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA) details provisions and protections that apply to military divorce.

For civilians, a six-month period of residency is required to file for divorce in the state of Florida. For service members, eligibility to file for divorce in Florida can depend on the following:

  • If you have resided in Florida for six months, you can meet the Florida residency requirement with a driver’s license, government identification card or other documentation that verifies your period of residence in the state.
  • You can file for divorce in Florida if you can establish Florida as your residence, even if you are currently deployed outside the state. As with a civilian action, residency could be established through mortgage records, voter or vehicle registration.

Working through divorce is difficult on any couple. A military divorce requires patience and knowledge concerning local and federal law that protects service members, their spouses and families during divorce.

If you are associated with the military and seeking divorce, get skilled legal advice.