A divorce when either spouse, or both spouses, are in the military has some special circumstances for you and your lawyer to discuss. Active duty service can complicate divorce issues, including causing difficulty locating your spouse, and additional delays in the court proceedings.
Divorce and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides those who serve with special rights in civil court proceedings, including proceedings related to divorce, custody, and child support. Military members can delay many court proceedings, or prevent courts from entering final orders, if they can prove to the court that they are unavailable to attend court because of their service, and harm would result if the court proceeding went forward without him or her. If you or your spouse is in the military, you should seek a Newport News Divorce Attorney with experience in this field.
Military Custody & Visitation
If the SCRA delays your custody proceeding, an attorney who understands the act might be able to get temporary orders related to custody and visitation, even if the spouse is not available for court. Courts will generally act in the best interest of the child, and it is often in a child’s best interest to have the stability created by a court-ordered custody and visitation arrangement.
Family Care Plan
When a member of the military becomes a single-parent, he or she must submit a “Family Care Plan” to their commanding officer. This plan outlines what will happen to the children in case the military-parent must have either a long-term or short-term absence. This plan often allows the child to stay with the other parent during these absences, but in some cases the plan might designate an alternative caregiver such as a grandparent, aunt, or uncle. These issues can be considered as part of the “big picture” in any divorce where one or both spouses are active duty.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Wright served over ten years in the United States Marine Corps. He had the unique opportunity to serve in both the enlisted ranks and as a commissioned officer. Highlights of his career include flying combat missions in support of OIF in the F/A-18D Hornet and training Marines and Sailors in JEB Little Creek.
There are many unique issues to consider in a military divorce, and several laws that apply only when one or both spouses is in the military. Whether you are the one serving or your spouse is, you both need a lawyer familiar with the culture and rules involved. Contact us to work with an Attorney who has military experience.