New Jersey Military Divorce
South Jersey Family Lawyer Skilled at Handling New Jersey Military Divorce
When you serve in the United States military and want to divorce, you face a different set of laws than those for civilians filing for divorce. Unlike a civilian divorce which is governed by the laws of the state, military divorce is governed by both federal and state laws, and special rules and requirements apply.
Understanding those laws, your rights, and the military divorce process is essential. The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC in South Jersey is skilled and knowledgeable in handling all aspects of a New Jersey military divorce. In fact, Attorney Stephen R. Piper has 23 years of military experience.
Where to File for Divorce When You Serve in the Military
When civilians file for divorce, they generally file in the state in which they reside. But what about military personnel, who move frequently? The state of New Jersey provides greater flexibility on the residency requirement for military divorces, allowing the service member and their spouse to select one of the following with regard to where to file for divorce:
- The filing spouse’s state of residence
- The state in which the military service member is stationed, even if the service member nor the spouse is a New Jersey state resident
- The military service member’s state of legal residency — their home state — or the state in which the service member plans to live upon retirement or discharge from the military
Alimony and Child Support in Military Divorce
When it comes to alimony and child support in a military divorce, special rules apply. The amount of child support is determined by the state’s child support guidelines and is usually based on the total entitlements of a service member. In the case of a military divorce, it is important that the court understand the different aspects of a service member’s pay, and the potential for that pay to change based on deployment, base transfer, and other factors. The court sets the amount of child support and only the court can change that amount.
Military rules on family support are designed to ensure that a service member’s support obligations are met. The court may enforce family support obligations in several ways, including any of the following:
- By court order
- Garnishment of wages
- Voluntary or involuntary allotment
A military service member may also be required to maintain a life insurance policy that would cover spousal or child support payments for a specified period of time. The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC is available to answer your questions regarding alimony and child support and to advocate on your behalf, call or contact us online today.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
When service members are on active duty, they are protected against some court proceedings being filed against them. Under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), service members can request a postponement — known as a “stay” — of any civil action that is initiated against them while they are serving on active duty or within the 90 day period from the service member’s release from active duty.
The SCRA is designed to allow service members to focus their time and energy on serving and defending the United States without the added stress of being unable to appear in court to face a judgement or other civil action. So if a spouse were to file a child custody order while the service member is deployed, the servicemember may invoke their rights under the SCRA.
Family Law Encompasses a Broad Range of Personal Matters
Family law is a broad range of law that encompasses a number of personal matters, including any of the following:
- Military divorce
- Child support
- Child custody and visitation
- Alimony & spousal support
- High asset divorce
- Domestic violence
- Division of property
- Modification of court orders
The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC has more than 18 years of experience working with New Jersey families to address the complete range of family law matters.
New Jersey Military Divorce Lawyer with 23 Years of Military Experience
Those who serve in the United States military face different laws when filing for a divorce. As such, it is critical that your divorce attorney has in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience handling a military divorce. The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC is an experienced South Jersey family law firm, dedicated to helping New Jersey families address a wide range of family law issues. With 23 years of military experience and more than 18 years of family law experience, Attorney Stephen R. Piper works closely with military families to reach the best possible outcome in their military divorce and other family law matters. Contact The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC to schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss your military divorce.
Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Military Divorce
No. It is not harder to get a divorce if you are a military service member. But the process of filing for divorce is more complicated for military service members than it is for civilians. Both federal and state laws apply to military divorces, and alimony and child support may be impacted by these laws. Jurisdiction is also different for military service members who are often stationed far from their place of legal residence. So while it is not harder to get a divorce if you are in the military, more laws apply to military divorce so it is important to understand your rights and the laws if you are considering filing.
When a military service member is relocated, any question concerning the impact on child custody arrangements is determined by state laws. Individual state laws determine whether custody orders remain unaffected by the relocation and whether the service member is required to request permission to relocate with their child. It is best to consult with an experienced military divorce attorney if you have questions regarding relocation and child custody orders.