Divorces take time and can be complicated, but they can be even worse when one spouse is a member of the military. If you are in the military and receive divorce papers in the mail, you may not have a clue what you should do, or what your legal rights are. In this situation, here are three things you need to know.
Court Will Give You Time
Because military workers are often stationed in different states and countries, the court will give them time to respond to the divorce papers and to physically go to court. This is very different than a non-military divorce because the dates are scheduled in, and both spouses must show up to court on these dates.
This extra time is given because of the Service Members' Relief Civil Act (SCRA). This act will allow you to put a stay (also called a hold) on your divorce hearings if you are located in a place that is far away from the state where your spouse filed the proceedings.
Military Offers Legal Assistance
The second thing you should know is that the military may give you legal assistance for this event. Most branches of military offer attorney services to members for all types of legal issues, including divorces.
This can be extremely helpful because you can have an attorney that will answer your questions, negotiate for you, and handle any issues that you need help with. This can all be completed while you are deployed, and this could help the divorce go through faster.
You May Have To Share Your Pension
Military workers are given pensions, which are designed for retirement purposes. While this is money you have earned for retirement, your spouse may also be entitled to some of this money. In most cases, a court will automatically give a spouse a share of the pension if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years; however, there are times when spouses will still have rights to the money even if the marriage did not last this long.You can talk to an attorney, such as Karen Robins Carnegie PLC, about this issue to learn more about your rights.
Divorces are never pleasant, but they are easier when both spouses live near each other. If you need help going through your divorce, make sure you look for an attorney that has experience with military divorces, or choose an attorney through your branch of military.