What To Know About a Military Divorce in New Jersey

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Please read on, then contact an experienced Hackensack, New Jersey divorce lawyer today for more information on how you may conduct a military divorce in the Garden State.

How do you qualify for a military divorce in New Jersey?

As you would in any other divorce case, you must establish jurisdiction over your case by fulfilling a residency requirement. The United States judicial system understands that military members may have more difficulty establishing residencies, because, in contrast to their civilian peers, members of the military move around and are often away for extended periods of time serving our country. It is in recognition of that fact that military members are given special considerations for their residency requirements. Current laws dictate that a member of the military or his or her spouse has the legal right to file for divorce in the state where:

  • The couple has legal residence
  • The military member claims legal residence
  • The military member is stationed

How are papers served in a military divorce in New Jersey?

Much like a civilian divorce, the defendant spouse must be served with divorce papers by the plaintiff spouse. Naturally, this matter becomes more involved in instances where a spouse needs to serve papers to a service member. Most U.S. military bases have a designated official who is tasked with handling legal matters for the base and acting as a law enforcement officer. To complete service, the defendant spouse must be willing to accept the papers. Should the defendant spouse choose not to, they may request a “stay” on the divorce, thereby prolonging the process. While service members have the right to put the divorce on hold while their duty prevents them from participating, the stay can’t last forever.

What makes military divorces different in New Jersey?

As opposed to civilian divorces, the United States government protects military members from default judgments. Per The Service Member Relief Act, the court may not issue any judgments on any aspect of the divorce without the involvement of the service member or his or her legal representative, so long as the service member is actively serving the country and is unable to address the divorce case.

Additionally, in accordance with the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act of 1982, the Garden State can treat a military pension as marital property and, thus, distribute it equitably as you would any other asset. According to the Act, a spouse may be eligible for a portion of the divided military pension if the spouses were married for at least ten years and the military spouse has served for at least ten years.

You can never take a divorce for granted, so please do not hesitate to give our New Jersey divorce lawyer a call today.

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