The process of going through a divorce is long and complicated for anyone. However, it is important to know that military members who wish to divorce their spouse must go through a different process than normal. Civilian divorces often require spouses to attend set court dates and meetings. Due to the fact that military members spend a great deal of time away from home, this can be hard for them to manage. It is because of this that their divorce may look different than that of other civilians. If you are going through a military divorce, an experienced attorney can assist in navigating the process.

Military Divorce Requirements

Military divorces also must meet a residency requirement. While this is true, courts within the state of New Jersey understand that this can be difficult for service members to maintain. This is why either them or their spouse can file for divorce within the state where:

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

Serving Divorce Members

To begin the process of a divorce, a spouse must be served divorce papers. This can be difficult in military divorces, as the service member may be away on a military base. It is because of this that military bases usually have a designated official who acts as law enforcement. This individual takes care of any legal matters on the base, such as serving divorce papers. When this is done, the service member can either accept or deny the serve. If they choose to not accept, they can request a “stay.” This holds the divorce off while they are in service. It is important to know that this only prolongs the process and does not avoid divorce completely. 

Are Military Members Protected from Default Judgment?

In civilian cases, if a spouse fails to answer a Complaint for Divorce, the process may go on without them. This results in a default judgment. However, in a military divorce, it can be difficult for service members to address the complaint. It is because of this that a default judgment cannot happen unless they or their legal representative is present.

Can My Military Pension be Affected by a Divorce?

Divorcing couples have to divide their assets. This process requires marital property to be determined from separate property. In the state of New Jersey, courts can treat a military pension as marital property. This subjects it to equitable distribution between the spouses. In addition to this, the “10/10 rule” takes the length of the couple’s marriage into consideration. This states that if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and the military member served for at least 10 years, the spouse is eligible for a portion of the military pay.

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.