What You Need to Know About Military Divorce in New Jersey

Divorce is always complicated, however, unfortunately, if your or your spouse is a member of the United States military, your divorce may become even more complicated than standard divorces. Please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable New Jersey divorce attorneys to learn more about military divorce and how our firm can effectively guide you through every step of the legal process going forward. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the residency requirements for a military divorce, and are they different from civilian divorces?

The first step of any divorce is fulfilling the residency requirement. While in most cases, this isn’t a problem, it can be a bit more complex for military divorces, as military members are often located in various places on a monthly or yearly basis. If you are a military member or the spouse of a military member and you are looking to file for a divorce, you must file either:

  • In the state where the military member is currently stationed
  • In the state where the military member currently claims legal residence
  • In the state where you and your spouse have legal residence

How do military members get served divorce papers?

If you are looking to divorce your spouse who is a member of the United States military, you will have to serve him or her divorce papers. To do so, you must first speak with the designated official at your spouse’s base who acts as a law enforcement officer. That being said, if your spouse is currently serving and is not located on base, your spouse has the legal right to reject the serve, for the time being, thereby putting a “stay” on the divorce until he or she returns from serving.

What is a “default judgment?”

In most cases, when one spouse files a Complaint for Divorce and the other spouse simply neglects to show up to the divorce proceedings, the court will issue a default judgment, which essentially will settle your divorce in your favor. That being said, if you file a Complaint for Divorce and your spouse is unavailable to attend the divorce proceedings as a result of him or her currently serving in the United States military, the court cannot issue a default judgment. A judgment on such a divorce can only be made if the military member is present or he/she has hired legal counsel to represent him/her.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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