A divorce when one spouse is in the military is generally not much different from any other divorce in terms of the basic procedures, however, military families should know that there may be other laws and issues that could arise if a military member must get divorced. The process may take longer if a spouse is deployed or posted at a remote location, and there may be initial issues in determining residency and jurisdiction which will determine where the divorce must be filed.
In addition to acquiring information about basic divorce procedures in Tennessee, military couples considering divorce should be aware of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act. This act offers Federal laws for military personnel governing the division of military retirement pay and benefits as well as guidance on spousal support and child support payments. Tennessee, in following the Federal guidelines, treats military retirement benefits as any other jointly held marital asset which will be divided as marital property in a divorce.
Other Federal and state laws have been created to protect military members from certain legal proceedings against them during deployment. The Service Members’ Civil Relief Act may prevent proceedings against certain deployed service members and proceedings can be deferred until after the service member returns.
If you or your spouse are in the military and you are contemplating a divorce, you should seek the advise of an experienced attorney.