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3 shocking facts about military divorce laws

As the spouse of a military member, you might be considering getting a divorce. It can be hard to go long periods of time without seeing a loved one, or perhaps there were signs of adultery or other concerns that made you want to walk away. Whatever the reason, you need to move forward in accordance with federal and state laws. There are some special laws that apply to military families to keep in mind.

You are limited in when you can apply for a divorce

Yes, you read that right. You may not be able to file for a divorce when you want to. If your husband or wife is deployed, you likely won't be able to serve paperwork for the divorce. Active service members are generally protected from divorce proceedings and can't be sued when they're on active duty. You might even have to wait for a few months after they return home.

You have multiple choices when it comes to filing

When it comes to filing, you will have a few different choices for where you do so. For example, if you're living in North Carolina but your spouse is stationed in Texas, you could potentially file in either state. You may also be able to file in the state where your spouse, the military member, claims residency. That could mean there are three potential states that have jurisdiction for your case, so choosing the one that has laws good for your case is important.

You could be entitled to a pension

Yes, you could be entitled to a pension if your husband or wife works 20 years or longer on active duty. The military automatically provides a pension to those who serve for two decades, and if you've been married for several years, you can ask for part of that pension. You could be eligible for medical, exchange and commissary privileges if you've been married for over 20 years as well.

Although divorce is trickier for military couples, it's possible to get through it with the right legal advice.

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