A lawyer trained in military divorces will be able to guide you on what to ask for in a divorce. They will know that in the military divorce process, the current rule looks at 20 years of military service and 20 years of marriage. It is then important to consider how much of the marriage overlaps with the duration of service. For example, if the marriage was less than 20 years and the person served in the military less than 20 years, then the benefits that the nonmilitary spouse is entitled to will be reduced. However, this is in contrast to a marriage that lasted at least 20 years, and the spouse served in the military for at least 20 years of this marriage.
This is the basis for the divorce meaning of the 20-20-20 rule in which there are 20 years of active service, married for 20 years, and having 20 years of the marriage and active service overlapping. The nonmilitary spouse in this situation could be entitled to retaining as many benefits as they had before the marriage was dissolved. This may include access to full benefits.
Even though divorce is seen as a civilian matter and not heard in military court, there are certain rules to consider when one of the people in a marriage is in the military. This is one of the reasons why anyone filing for divorce will need to state if the person they would like to divorce is a military service member. When a spouse is within active military service, this can affect the timeline of the divorce process. It may be that the military spouse is not able to attend the divorce hearings, and the nonmilitary spouse may also need to have the military spouse sign a consent form to pursue divorce. A military member who would like to divorce their spouse would need to consider that there are options when they are actively deployed. They will have the option to file in a state where they previously resided for six months, or they can choose to file in the state where they pay taxes. The nonmilitary spouse may also be allowed to file where they are currently residing. Many states have created laws to make it easier for service members and their spouses to file in a state where they are stationed at a military base. Some military members have been able to file in a state where they have been stationed. As stated, filing overseas is never a good idea as the divorce may not be accepted by US courts.
It is all about having someone by your side that understands the military divorce rate and the steps in the divorce process. Having the right legal help in the form of a Mesa AZ military divorce lawyer can reduce the stress and emotional strain on you and your family as you navigate through the local and state laws regarding divorce for military persons. Keep in mind that it will also depend on which state you reside in and the divorce laws within that state.
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