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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

How to choose where to file for a military divorce

Civilians living in Tennessee would generally file for divorce in that state. However, for an individual in the military, it may not be as easy to determine where to file for divorce. This is because that person and his or her spouse may have gotten married in a state where they don't currently live. Furthermore, they may not have lived in their current home state long enough to file there.

Where a person files for divorce is important because different states and territories have different laws relating to property division. For instance, courts in Puerto Rico generally won't divide a pension between a service member and his or her husband or wife. As a general rule, a member of the military who is filing for divorce can choose to file in any state where he or she has actually lived.

It is important to note that only one spouse has to establish residency in that state for a divorce to be filed there. However, those in the military looking to file for divorce may want to consider the time and financial cost of travel to and from any state where they wish to file. It may be worth considering whether a divorce is considered a fault or no-fault divorce as an innocent party in a fault divorce may get a larger share of marital assets.

In many ways, a military divorce is similar to a civilian divorce. This means that property division and child custody matters are generally determined by state law or by the couple themselves assuming that the agreement is approved by a judge. An attorney may be able to help an individual get his or her share of marital property and make an effort to obtain maximum parental rights as allowed by state law.

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