When you are going to get a divorce as a member of the United States armed forces, you do not have to go through any type of military courts. If you or your spouse are residents of Washington, you file for divorce in your home county or the county that your spouse resides in. In some states, there is a minimum residency requirement that applies to petitions for dissolution of marriage or divorce. Washington does not have such a requirement, so you can file even if you have not lived in the state for an extended period of time.
Our state is a no-fault divorce state, so there is no need to contend that your spouse did anything wrong to create the need for a divorce. However, the circumstances can be taken into consideration during child support and/or alimony deliberations.
Though the basic parameters are the same for civilians and military personnel, people who are serving in the armed forces will sometimes encounter inherent challenges. One person may be living in Washington, and his or her spouse may be deployed elsewhere. This can slow the process down, but a divorce can still be granted. Physical location can also be relevant during child custody proceedings.
Potential spousal support and child support will also come into play. The federal guidelines that people in the military should review with regard to these matters are contained within the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act.
One issue of interest that is addressed in the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act is the right of a spouse to receive a portion of the retirement pay of a former spouse. If a service member was married to the petitioner for at least ten years that overlap with the time of service, the retired pay could be looked upon as property that could be divided.
Our Doors Are Open to Service Members and Veterans
If you would like to discuss a military divorce with us in person, we would be glad to help. You can request a consultation if you send us a brief message through this page: Tacoma, WA family law consultation.