Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.

New Jersey Military Divorce Lawyer

Divorces are difficult enough, but going through one as a military member adds extra complications in figuring out where exactly you can file for divorce. As a member of the military or a spouse of a military member, you have probably had to move from country to country or state to state depending on where you have been stationed. This can make it hard to have a “home state” when attempting to file for divorce.

A New Jersey military divorce lawyer can help you understand and navigate the military divorce process. Consult an adept divorce attorney and know that you are in capable hands.

Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act

The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act was established to help military members who have stationed away from their family. Under the law, a military member will not be subject to a default judgment and can have the entire divorce postponed until they return. Then they have 60 days after they return to go forward with the divorce.

Establishing Jurisdiction in New Jersey as a Military Member

In order to file for divorce in New Jersey, the typical requirement is that a person or their spouse lived in the state for twelve months. To establish New Jersey as the state that has jurisdiction if an individual does not reside in New Jersey then either that person or their spouse must be stationed in the state.

Alternatively, if New Jersey was the person’s original home state or it is the state they plan on returning to after they retire or are discharged from the military their New Jersey military divorce lawyer can use that as a basis for jurisdiction as well.

Military Member Divorce Process

Following jurisdiction, the divorce process is the same for military members and civilians. There are a few special rules that everyone should be aware of though.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act makes retirement pay open to divorce proceedings. Therefore, New Jersey courts do have the authority to include retirement pay from a military member when calculating spousal support or distributing property. However, there is a rule referred to as the 10/10 rule that is important to know about.

Under this rule, the marriage must have lasted for at least ten years and the member should have put in at least ten years into service for the military that is credited towards their retirement eligibility.

While the normal guidelines for child support will be followed, the combination of spousal support and child support cannot go over 60 percent of the person’s total income. Also, while calculating gross income a New Jersey court may consider the basic allowance for housing (BAH) as an asset to be counted towards the total amount.

Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice makes it a crime to fail to discharge a debt, this includes non-payment of spousal support or child support. If the military member still does not pay then the court can order the support to be garnished directly from their wages.

Lastly, each component of the military ranging from the Army to the Navy has specific rules ordering the service member to support their family when there is no court ordered support.

For example, if a couple is separated the Air Force has guidelines that state that the member must pay adequate financial support for any relative that the Air Force member receives additional allowances for such as a spouse or child. A New Jersey military divorce lawyer can answer any other questions an individual may have about military divorce rules

Consulting a New Jersey Military Divorce Attorney

Each department has its own guidelines so it would be best to speak to a New Jersey military divorce lawyer to better understand what you may be obligated to pay or are entitled to. Consult a skilled divorce lawyer that will work for a positive outcome for you.