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Divorce in the Military in Maryland: What Are My Options?

| March 15, 2022, 06:00 PM

There are times when divorce becomes necessary, even if one of the spouses is serving in the military and lives far from home. Additionally, a spouse’s active military service can have a significant impact on the divorce process as a whole. You need to be aware of your personal legal affairs and know how to act, no matter what the circumstances are. If you’re looking to get divorced while serving in the military but don’t know where to start, we’re here to help you navigate the process.

What You Need to Know About Military Divorce

To begin, you must determine which documents are required and what steps need to be taken on your end in order to begin the divorce process. You’ll be able to steer clear of a lot of trouble by being more methodical and cautious. A good first step is to speak with a legal aid office so that you can learn more about the specifics of your case.

If you’re a military member or spouse contemplating a divorce, keep reading for some important information:

  • In a military divorce, state law and local procedures govern the divorce process. Additionally, military regulations and federal statutes may be relevant. Check all the details with a military lawyer and be aware of potential pitfalls, if needed.
  • For free military legal assistance services, you can go to the legal assistance office on the installation. As an additional resource, if you feel the need for legal assistance with military affidavits and settlement agreements, you can retain the services of a military attorney.

Divorce Among Military Personnel and Non-Military Personnel

Despite the fact that military divorces are handled in state courts, there are a number of rules that must be followed by active military members:

  • After a plaintiff files divorce papers, the defendant has 90 days from the date of the papers to find an attorney and begin preparing their defense;
  • A law known as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is in place to keep service members from being automatically divorced.
  • The total amount of spousal and child support paid to a service member cannot exceed 60 percent of that salary.
  • The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act protects military spouses’ retirement benefits from becoming joint property in a divorce.

The process of divorcing an active-duty military member can be complicated, so take your time to learn about it.

For a Divorce, Where Do You Go to File for a Petition?

As long as you or your spouse are legally residing in the state, you can file for divorce there. You can also file in the state where you live and pay your taxes, or where you are stationed. If you want a military divorce in Maryland, you’ll need to file a formal application with the Maryland Court System. A spouse must have lived in Maryland for six months prior to filing for divorce if the other has not.

A “limited divorce” in Maryland is not the same as an “absolute divorce,” which is legal in the state but not in the federal sense. While they are still legally married, they are no longer living together as husband and wife. However, in other states, a divorce is referred to as an absolute divorce. Because of this, it is imperative that you clearly define the marriage status you desire.

Getting the Most Out of Your Military Attorney

When it comes to dividing military retired pay and receiving a pension-share check, military divorces can be difficult. A state’s approach to divorce and the division of military pensions must be considered before filing for divorce. Service members and their spouses who are contemplating divorce should be aware of the legal considerations that are unique to military divorces. Military legal assistance offices can assist you if you haven’t arrived yet.

Your installation’s assistance office provides the following services:

  • Lawyers who provide legal assistance
  • Advice on legal matters such as child custody and support or the division of marital assets such as a home, a car, money, and more.

A no-fault divorce is an option if you and your spouse cannot agree on anything. Divorce is likely to be quick and painless in this situation. Divorce lawyers can help mediate disagreements about child custody or property division and draught a settlement agreement.

Are you considering ending your marriage to a service member? We suggest that you arrange a meeting with a military divorce lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced. Divorce shouldn’t be so difficult!

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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