Military divorces usually aren’t as straightforward as regular divorces. The average couple can marry, own property, live in a house and choose to separate in the same state. While it’s possible for military couples to do the same, many of these activities are often divided between two to four states for them with how often they have to move.
This means that most military spouses have several states to choose from when they decide on where they want to separate. There are several factors to consider before you and your spouse make that decision that could impact how the proceedings play out.
Filing a divorce in the state you are currently living in is still a popular choice for military couples. Even if one spouse might be serving out of the country, the other could still have an established life and job in the state that they could risk losing if they decide to separate elsewhere.
For couples that only lived in the state for a short amount of time, the decision might not be as easy. Experts say that where you established residency the most is the better place to file for divorce since it would make asset division easier for the court. Only one spouse needs to establish residency in the state to file for divorce, so those with military partners where the best option might be for both parties.
Not all states have the same divorce laws. Some states are more accepting of fault divorces, some treat the marital property as community property and some require one spouse to be a resident there for a specific period of time. For example, Indiana requires at least one spouse to be a resident of the state for six months before they can file for a divorce.
There are numerous questions you need to ask yourself. How soon do you want your divorce finalized? How do you think the court should divide you and your spouse’s properties? Are there any additional risks one state has when it comes to acquiring child custody over another?
Having more options on where you want to separate is just one of many ways that military divorce is different from an average one. If you feel overwhelmed at the number of options you have and want to understand the process further, contact an attorney with experience helping military couples.