With its constant relocations and life-threatening conditions, the military lifestyle can easily take a toll on service members and their families. When someone in the military or someone married to a service member chooses to pursue a divorce, the process becomes much more complex.
Residency for filing purposes
To get a divorce in New Jersey, you need to be a resident of New Jersey, which means you must live here for a full year. However, the state acknowledges the challenges of a life dedicated to military service. Thus, a service member or spouse may choose where to file their divorce complaint.
- The state where the service member is stationed
- The state where the spouse currently lives
- The service member’s home state or where they claim legal residence
- The state where the service member retires once they are not on active duty anymore
Once the divorce is final, the authority for changes in divorce remains in New Jersey, unless you petition to move authority to another state. Functionally, this makes moving out of the state a challenge.
Mapping out parenting plans
In New Jersey, rules about the amount of child support may vary depending on the service member’s branch of service. The Leave and Earnings Statement, inclusive of bonuses and hazard pay on top of regular income, assesses their capacity to provide financing for their child. Other unique benefits factored in are housing and food allowances.
Further, it is crucial to have an explicit agreement between both parties on how to manage communications in co-parenting aligned with the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act.
Lastly, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides legal protections to active-duty service members by providing them due process when they cannot fulfill civil or administrative matters because of military service obligations. This legislation means they can request a 90-day temporary postponement or stay in child support and other divorce proceedings.
Military divorce provides leniency to couples because of the transient nature of the service member’s duty to the country. Thus, defending the nation does not mean the service member may have to sacrifice being a responsible ex or parent. There are legal securities in place to seal their family’s future.