The issue of divorce is a complicated one. However, being in the military makes divorce even more complex. If you are stationed overseas, a military divorce is particularly complicated. Before you start the process, learn what it means to get a military divorce in a different country.
Common Questions About Military Divorce Overseas
When people decide to get a divorce in the military, they usually have a few questions. This is especially true when one or both individuals are stationed in another country. Here are a few common questions, and answers to those questions.
1. Is it a military or civilian issue?
When you are in a military, the military court handles most legal proceedings. However, military divorce is a civilian issue. The civilian court handles marriages. Therefore, it also handles divorces.
You can choose to use a military legal aid lawyer for your divorce. However, your best bet is to hire a civilian lawyer. They have the most experience working on divorce cases. With their expertise, you can get the best results. That said, you may consider getting advice from your military legal aid office. If you have any questions about military divorce, the lawyer can answer them.
2. Do you apply for divorce overseas or in the US?
This is one of the most common questions regarding military divorce. Divorcing in a foreign country can seem intimidating. However, most individuals don’t need to worry about this. If you are stationed overseas, then you probably don’t need to worry about the local divorce laws. To have a divorce that the US recognizes, you need to follow US divorce law. This means that you can get a divorce in your home state.
Of course, you could apply for divorce in another country is if you live there. For example, you might own land and have a driver’s license in France. If this is the case, then France might be your legal home. Under this circumstance, you might need to apply for divorce in France. Military divorce can be very complicated. Therefore, your best course of action is to speak to a lawyer.
3. Can legal assistance handle your divorce?
Your legal assistance office cannot usually handle your divorce case. For most divorces, you need to show up in a court. However, there is the rare occasion that two spouses agree on all the terms of the divorce. In an uncontested divorce, legal aid might be able to give you the help that you need.
In contested divorces, you need a lawyer. However, legal assistance can still help you. They can create a separation agreement to get you started on your divorce. Additionally, they can explain where you need to get your divorce.
4. What makes a place your legal home?
The issue of a legal home is one of the most complex in divorce cases. Some people have several legal homes. However, most have one. The term does not refer to a place that you call home. Rather, it refers to place the law calls home. For example, it is the home that you pay taxes on and live in regularly. Your home should qualify you for in-state tuition in the state in which it’s located. It does not matter if you live “permanently” overseas. Instead, the court only cares where your legal home is.
Some states do allow a spouse to file for divorce where he or she is stationed. Once again, this varies. You need to consult with a lawyer to learn about your options.
5. Can you choose where your divorce occurs?
If you have multiple legal homes, then you can choose where your divorce takes place. Every state in the US has divorce laws that differ. In some states, divorce is a no-fault issue. Whether or not an individual is at fault does not matter. This could benefit or hurt your case. It depends on your circumstances.
When it comes to military divorce, the laws are particularly different. For example, there’s the issue of military pension. Some states favor an equal split of the pension. However, others don’t. Before you decide where to file, you need to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each state.
6. How do overseas divorce laws compare to US laws?
If you do decide to get an overseas divorce, then there could be some consequences. Every country has different divorce laws. In some of them, the laws could hurt your divorce. You could end up losing all your assets to your spouse. You need to speak to a lawyer who understands the complex issues of overseas divorce. Then, you can decide if filing overseas is a smart decision.
It’s also important to recognize that you can make a mistake. Filing for a divorce in the wrong place could be a disaster. For one, the US might not recognize it. You could also lose out on any edge over your spouse. Speak to a military divorce lawyer to find out how filing overseas could impact you.