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Military Divorce

blog-logoColorado Springs based military personnel and service members who are getting divorced face a whole host of issues that the average divorcing couple doesn't need to worry about.  There are questions about military pensions, custody for active-duty service members and the effects of military relocation on parenting time.  But one of the most confusing issues to resolve is deciding on the proper jurisdiction for the divorce action.  If you are anticipating a divorce in the near future, it makes sense to consult with a Colorado Springs military divorce lawyer before signing an Affidavit of Service or any other divorce papers. 

In Colorado Springs, divorce lawyers are often asked questions about jurisdiction in a military divorce.  Since this can be such a confusing topic, I will outline the basics here.  

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Getting a divorce while on active military duty brings its own set of challenges.  Whether you are on active duty in the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, there are a certain laws in place that will protect you from civil judgments and liabilities while you are still on active duty.  If your divorce will occur in the state of Colorado, a Colorado Springs Military Divorce Lawyer can guide you through this process.


The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 (SSCRA) goes into effect from the time you receive your active-duty orders, and in addition to protecting you from other specific judgments, it also prevents a spouse from filing for divorce and obtaining child custody rights without your knowledge. In fact, your spouse cannot take any action on a divorce before you are served with the divorce papers and a request for custody, which is often difficult to accomplish while a soldier is on active duty.

Military pensions and emergency child support arrangements are often decided by Federal law, but the laws of Colorado will cover every other matter of a military divorce.   In order to establish jurisdiction, one party in the divorce must be a legal resident of Colorado.  But remember, just because you or your spouse is deployed to Peterson AFB or Fort Carson, you will not necessarily have residency in the state of Colorado.  A Colorado Springs Military Divorce Lawyer can help you in determining whether the state will have jurisdiction over your case. 

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After several divorce cases resulted in military retirement pay being awarded to an ex-spouse as part of a “community property” ruling, a subsequent case reached the U.S. Supreme Court.  The resulting decision was that military retirement benefits were not yet covered by federal laws and could not legally be treated as joint property. 

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Jurisdiction is perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of a military divorce, but it is also the most important one to get right.  By taking into account the legal residences of the military member, their spouse and the state where the service member is stationed, a Colorado Springs military divorce lawyer can help ensure your case has established the proper jurisdiction for your case.
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Getting a divorce is painful enough, but if you or your spouse (or both) are members of the military, it can be even more complex.  If you are considering a Colorado military divorce and you or your spouse have established residence in Colorado, consider consulting with a Colorado Springs military divorce attorney

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What is the effect of divorce on your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)?  This article explores what BAH is, how it is calculated, and how its usage is affected by military divorce cases.

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Being a member of the military, or a military spouse can greatly affect your divorce, especially if there is a potential for military retirement.  There are many aspects to every divorce case, and it is important to recognize that every case is different. 

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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