When filing for divorce, there are many differences that military members may face that their civilian counterparts do not. Some of these differences you have some measure of control over, such as where you file. This is one of the most important things to consider in a military divorce because the law varies by state, so depending on where you choose to file, the outcome of your divorce could change significantly. This is more of an issue for military members than civilians because civilians rarely have a choice in where they file.
In civilian divorces, the couple often very clearly resides in one state, likely the state in which they were married. As a serviceman or servicewoman, you may have been married in Ohio before being stationed in Texas, owning property in both. In this instance, you may be able to file for divorce in either state, and knowing the divorce laws of each state will help you decide where to file.
It’s important to remember that just because you may have a choice in where you file for divorce, there are still limits. You should file for divorce in a state in which you actually live; where you were married does not affect where you can divorce. With this in mind, it’s generally a good idea to file in a state where you vote, go to church or pay state taxes. For an in-depth explanation of how to choose where to file for divorce, click here.
If you are eligible to file for divorce in Texas, it is important that you meet with an attorney who is experienced handling military divorce cases in the state. This is the most reliable way to ensure that all of the aspects of a military divorce case, such as division of military retirement, are handled appropriately and fairly.