Divorce is never easy, but if you are serving in the military, it can be an even more difficult situation to come to terms with. Being in the military means that you do not lead a typical civilian life, and as a result, you will not go through the same process that civilians go through when filing for divorce. In the state of Connecticut, different laws and rules will help protect you from unfair treatment or from having problems that you cannot fix through no control of your own, such as not appearing at court dates or not responding to divorce action.
The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act 50 UCS Section 521 mandates that divorce proceedings be postponed while you are on active duty and unable to attend your court hearing because of your active duty obligations. This Act protects active duty military members from being divorced without any knowledge of what is happening. If you are on active duty, you may not receive divorce papers from your spouse and therefore cannot respond to them. The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act can postpone these proceedings until up to 60 days after you return from active duty. At the same time, if you are away from home and yet you wish to get a divorce, your right to have the proceedings postponed can be waived. In this way, if you do want to get a divorce, you will not have to wait until you come home to start the procedure.
In terms of dividing assets and paying child support, often times a combination of Military, State and Federal laws will be applied. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) allows for the division of military retirement benefits during a divorce. The USFSPA authorizes pension payments to former spouses of military members, however, normal Connecticut property laws will be used for dividing property. In addition to financial divisions, child support is different for members of the military. For example, if you are an active duty Marine, you are obligated to at least support your dependents pursuant to Chapter 15 of the Legal Administration Manual. However, your spouse has the right to petition the local State Court for child support and that State order will control.
While not every part of divorce is different if you are member of the military, special laws have been put into place in order to protect and support military members throughout the process. These laws are put into place so that you can hopefully experience as quick and painless a divorce as possible, and also so that your spouse cannot take everything from you. Contact Bansley Anthony today to get specific information about your divorce.