Gloucester County Military Divorce Lawyer
Gloucester County, New Jersey Military Divorce Lawyer Has Successfully Represented Hundreds of Military Service Members
When military divorce lawyer Stephen R. Piper concluded his second deployment to Iraq in 2006, he began representing fellow Afghanistan and Iraq veterans in their divorces. Attorney Piper understood what military life was like. And he knew from firsthand, personal experience the challenges of going through a military divorce while deployed.
Since that time, The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper LLC has successfully represented hundreds of military service members in Gloucester County and throughout New Jersey on family law matters, including military divorce. Compassionate and dedicated, Attorney Piper brings a unique perspective to military divorce as both a veteran and an experienced family law attorney.
Where You File for a Military Divorce is Significant
If you are a military service member and you are considering filing for divorce, one of the first decisions you are confronted with is where to file. Civilian divorces are far simpler in this respect — civilians file for divorce in the state in which they legally reside. Military divorces face a whole host of issues when it comes to legal jurisdiction.
Deployments and base transfers are commonplace in military life, so where should — or where can — a military service member file for divorce? New Jersey is one of the states providing a greater level of flexibility regarding the residency requirement for a military divorce. The Garden State allows service members and their spouses to select from a few different options when making this determination. Specifically, service members and their spouses may:
- File for divorce in the state in which the filing spouse resides
- File for divorce in the state in which the military service member has a legal residence, or the state in which the service member plans to live after being discharged from the military or upon retirement
- File for divorce in the state in which the military service member is stationed. It does not matter whether the service member or the spouse is a resident of New Jersey
Determining where to file for a military divorce is a personal decision based on your individual circumstances. However, it is important to stress that this decision should be an informed decision, and thoughtfully weighed. Many aspects of a divorce — such as child support, child custody & visitation, and alimony & spousal support — are governed by the laws of the state in which the divorce was filed, and those laws vary greatly from one state to another.
Legal Protections Against Civil Court Filings for Military Service Members
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that provides protections to military service members against civil court filings. Under the SCRA, service members may ask for a stay — a temporary postponement — of any civil actions that are brought against them. The SCRA provides protections from the time that service members are on active duty until 90 days after their release from active duty.
The purpose of the SCRA is to prevent service members from facing civil actions when they are unable to appear to confront the judgment due to their military service. So, for example, if a service member has a child custody order filed by their spouse while they are deployed, the service member may invoke their rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The SCRA protects all active duty service members, reservists, and members of the National Guard.
A Former Military Service Member Who Understands Military Divorce
The process of ending a marriage is often a painful one. Marriage is personal, and a divorce can be emotional, stressful, and overwhelming. When those who serve in the military decide to divorce, they face additional obstacles. Overlapping state and federal laws, questions regarding where to file for divorce, and concerns pertaining to child custody during a deployment make a challenging process all the more difficult.
At The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC we understand. Divorce lawyer Stephen R. Piper is a military veteran who underwent a military divorce during active deployment. He has 23 years of military experience and understands the life of a service member. Attorney Piper has been practicing family law for more than 18 years, helping New Jersey families resolve a wide range of family law matters. If you are a military service member in Gloucester County, New Jersey who is contemplating divorce, contact The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your military divorce.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gloucester County Military Divorce
If you file for a divorce while your spouse is deployed, your spouse can seek protection under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). This federal law protects service members from being taken to court for a civil court proceeding from the time they are on active duty through the 90 days following a discharge from active duty. The SCRA protects all active duty service members, members of the National Guard, and reservists. If you have questions regarding your rights as a military service member, it is best to consult with an attorney who is experienced in military matters.
The process of military divorce is different from a civilian divorce in several ways. Most significantly, military divorce is governed by both federal laws and state laws, whereas civilian divorces are governed only by the laws of the state in which the divorce was filed. The military has specific rules regarding jurisdiction, meeting family support obligations, and other matters. Furthermore, military life is quite different than civilian life in a number of respects, and those unique circumstances are reflected in military divorce proceedings and the terms of the divorce. It is important to consult with an experienced military divorce attorney when you are filing for a military divorce; The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC in New Jersey has skillfully represented military families in Gloucester County and the surrounding areas in a range of family matters since 2006.