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Military Divorce Law

Divorce Laws in the Military

Military divorce laws can be governed by either federal law or the state law in which you are stationed. Military Pension and certain emergency child support orders are dictated by the federal law. State laws, however, will be enforced for all other matters pertaining to your “military divorce”. Additionally, the active duty military member must be personally served with the summons and complaint of divorce in order for the state court to have jurisdiction over the applicable matters of the military divorce. Residency requirements, also, are dependant upon the state divorce laws in which you are stationed.

Retired Military Pay & Property Division in the Military

In 1982, the Uniform Services Former Souses Protection Act was enacted. It is this federal law that governs retired military pay during the process of your military divorce. According to the Act, retired military pay is to be treated as property and therefore can be divided between you and your spouse at the time of your divorce. Up to 50% of a military member’s retired pay may be awarded. However, it is the state laws that will determine the exact division of the retired pay.

Spousal Support (Alimony) & Child Support

Both child support and spousal support awards may not exceed 60% of a military member’s pay and allowances. However, all military members have a duty to provide support for their children as well as their spouses. Because of this, their wages may be garnished in order to ensure proper support is taking place. The state laws in which you reside shall dictate the specific length and amount of support necessary and thereby its termination.

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