As a uniformed service member or military spouse, you have likely experienced your share of stressors regarding state-to-state moves and their effect on your family. You may be surprised to find that state laws have a significant impact on the shape of your divorce. When the time comes for an end to your marriage, you will have to adjust your plans according to United States jurisdiction laws.
In any divorce, state courts maintain power over proceedings for divorce. And while an everyday citizen would simply file for divorce in the state in which they reside, spouses filing for a military divorce will have to do so in the state where they hold legal residence.
The state where you file makes a difference
You may be staying in the Washington D.C. area, but a legal resident in a nearby state. Perhaps the state in which you are a legal resident holds to fault-based divorce standards. This would mean that you and your spouse must have a legitimate cause for your divorce.
What’s more, states also may differ in how they distribute marital property. Some states, like Virginia, hold to a community property standard. In these states, courts divide property equally. But in non-community property states, courts divide property based on perceived fairness or contribution to the assets in question.
There is also, of course, child custody and support laws to consider. These, too, will vary state-to-state. To learn more about how jurisdiction laws will affect your divorce—and therefore, your family—reach out to an experienced attorney who can walk you through your legal options.