Divorce can happen to anyone, and if you are a member of the U.S. military or are the spouse of one, you must read on to learn more about how military divorce works in New Jersey. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding military divorce:
What are the residency requirements for military divorces in New Jersey?
All divorces must meet certain residency requirements before proceeding. However, since military members are seldom in one place for long, residency requirements are adjusted to better accommodate their needs. Therefore, military couples can only file for divorce in:
- The state where the military member claims legal residence
- The state where the couple has legal residence
- The state where the military member is stationed
How are servicemembers served divorce papers?
The majority of military bases have a designated official who acts as the base’s law enforcement officer. He or she is the one who generally handles these affairs. However, if your spouse is currently away on duty, he or she may put a “stay” on the divorce, thereby refusing to concede to the divorce until he or she returns from duty. Though this cannot prevent the divorce altogether, it may prevent it from moving along at the present time.
Are members of the U.S. military protected against default judgment?
In a civilian divorce, individuals are legally obligated to respond to their spouse’s Complaint for Divorce. When they do not respond, the court will issue a default judgment, which will generally settle the divorce in favor of the spouse who filed the Complaint and against the spouse who neglected to respond. However, since military service can prevent a spouse from returning or responding to such matters right away, no judgment shall be made on a divorce until the spouse either returns or he or she has retained legal counsel to act on his or her behalf.
Will my military pension be affected by a divorce?
Military pensions are generally considered marital property, and will, therefore, be subject to equitable distribution. The 10/10 rule states that if you were married for at least 10 years, and your spouse served for at least 10 of those years, you will be entitled to a portion of the divided military pay.
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