It is no secret that the process of divorce is long and complex. However, not every process is the same and families go through it in different ways. If a person is a member of the military, their divorce proceedings look different than those of other civilians. Civilian divorces usually require spouses to attend court dates and meetings. This can be difficult for military members to manage, as they spend a lot of time away from home. If you are going through a military divorce, it can be beneficial to retain the services of an experienced attorney to assist the process.
Military Divorce Requirements
Similar to civilian divorces, military spouses must also meet a residency requirement. However, the state of New Jersey understands that a permanent residence can be difficult for them to maintain. It is because of this that either spouse can file for divorce within the state where:
- The couple has a legal residence
- The military member is stationed
- The military member claims legal residence
Serving Divorce Members
The process of divorce begins when a spouse is served divorce papers. Due to the fact that military members are often away on a base, this can be difficult for them. It is because of this that military bases tend to keep a designated official who acts as law enforcement in order to take care of legal matters on the base. This includes serving divorce papers. When this happens, the service member can accept or deny the serve. If they do not wish to accept, they can request a “stay” that holds off the divorce while they are in service. While this can prolong the process, it is important to know that it does not avoid divorce entirely.
Are Military Members Protected from Default Judgment?
If a spouse does not answer a Complaint for Divorce in a civilian case, the proceedings can go on without them. This results in a default judgment. However, it can be difficult for military members to address the complaint in a timely manner. This is why a default judgment cannot happen in military divorces unless the individual or their legal representative is present.
Can My Military Pension be Affected by a Divorce?
Part of a divorce requires separating a couple’s assets. This involves the distinction of marital property from separate property. In New Jersey, a military pension is treated as marital property. This means that it is subject to equitable distribution between the spouses. When dealing with these situations, the length of the couple’s marriage is taken into consideration. The “10/10” rule states that if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and the service member was active for at least 10 years, the spouse is eligible for a portion of the pay.
Contact our Firm
If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver & Simpson is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.