MA military divorce can be different from civilian divorce

Our active and retired military members and their families often make many sacrifices in service to their country. Time away, stressful work situations and other factors can put a strain on home life. As time wears on, this can lead a married couple to consider divorce. If one or both spouses are military members, their divorce is considered a military divorce.

Military divorces are different from civilian divorces for a few reasons. Instead of being governed solely by Massachusetts state law, like civilian divorces, military law is governed by both state and federal law. One of the biggest differences between military and civilian divorce is jurisdiction. Civilian divorces are obligated to stay in the state of residency most of the time. In comparison, military divorces can pick a variety of states in which to file.

Military members and their spouses can pick their state of residency in which to file for military divorce. They can also choose the state where the military member is stationed. In addition, a military couple can file for divorce in the state in which the military member claims legal residency. Since state laws can vary greatly on topics of how to handle divorce, marital property division and alimony, it can be beneficial to pick a state where the laws favor your family’s situation.

This is not the only difference between civilian and military divorce. It isn’t unusual to have questions during this time. Divorce is uncharted territory for most. Military divorce can be the best choice for you and your family.

Source: FindLaw, “Military Divorce,” Accessed January 2, 2017

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