The brave men and women of our military put their lives on the line to ensure our safety, as well as the safety of many overseas. Since these individuals put their normal day-to-day lives on hold in order to serve our country, they are provided certain legal protections. This includes protections under family law. Those who are in the military, as well as those seeking to address divorce and other family law issues with a member of the military, should familiarize themselves with these laws, as they can play an important role in the timeline and outcome.
Under federal law, most military members are protected from divorce proceedings while they are on active duty. This protection also extends to 60 days after they return from active duty. Once divorce proceedings are ready to be initiated, though, the parties must decide where the case will be heard. While most divorce cases are heard where the parties live, in the case of a divorce involving a member of the military, it may be heard in the state where the individual is stationed. It is best to discuss this matter with an attorney, though, as every state's law approaches family law differently.
Once a jurisdiction is determined, the initiating party must figure out how to serve the other party with the divorce petition. The same holds true in instances where a party is seeking modification of child support, alimony or child custody. This can be a challenge, especially when an individual is in basic training or deployed.
Once all logistical matters are taken care of, the parties still must address the issues at hand. While most of these matters will be handled in a similar fashion as cases without military members, it can include special issues such as military pensions. To learn more about military divorce and how to address it unique issues, Illinois and Indiana residents should consider speaking to an experienced family law attorney. This not only ensures one is well informed but also takes action with their best interests in mind.