Category: Military Divorce
Questions/Answers
Can I file for divorce while my spouse is active duty military?
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act protects an active duty member of the armed forces from civil suit. The time periods, or “statutes of limitations,” affecting the civil actions are either suspended or extended, so that your spouse can devote his or her energies to the defense of the country without worrying about civil actions, including divorce. If the divorce is uncontested, your spouse can waive his or her rights to the relief under this act. This is very normal procedure.
Which is better, a garnishment or an allotment?
If by better you mean “which will get more money,” then an allotment is the answer. An allotment can attach basic pay and the housing allowance (which you are not able to do under a garnishment). If by better you mean “which is easier to get,” then an allotment is again the answer. In most cases it is easier to obtain an involuntary allotment than a garnishment.
What is a military housing allowance?
The military housing allowance, now called the Basic Allowance for Housing (or BAH), is nontaxable allowance paid to service members who do not live in government housing. Service members also receive a BAH if they are separated from their immediate family members.
What is the jurisdiction for service members?
This can be a complicated question, and your lawyer is the best person to help you with it. But in general, for most divorces, you should determine the service members domicile (or state where the service member had legal residence). The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act allows service members to keep the domicile they had when the entered the military. So if you live in North Carolina, for example, which is where you married and made a home with your husband, clearly his domicile is North Carolina. On the other hand, if you lived in North Carolina, where your husband entered the military, and during your separation you move to Virginia, you expect Virginia to have jurisdiction over your husband.
What are some of the statutes that pertain to active duty military?
The most important one is the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act. You may also need to become familiar with the Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents. In addition, should your husband be involved in a civil or criminal suit that involves his military service, he would most likely be subject to a court martial, rather than a civilian court.
Helpful Tips and Facts
Military Pay
When determining the gross income for a parent in the military, be sure to include any housing allowance. This often gets overlooked and is provided as part of military pay. For example, if they did not have housing, his or her monthly pay would be higher.