What You Should Know About Military Divorce in New Jersey

divorce new jersey nj

If you would like more information about how to conduct a military divorce in New Jersey, please read on, then contact one of our experienced Bergen County divorce attorneys today.

What are the requirements of a military divorce in New Jersey?

As is the case with all other divorces, those seeking a military divorce must establish jurisdiction over their case by fulfilling a residency requirement. Because members of the military move around and are often away for long periods of time serving our country, the United States judicial system understands that military members may not be able to establish residencies as easily as their civilian peers. In light of that fact, military members have some special considerations for their residency requirements. Under current laws, a member of the military or his or her spouse has the legal right to file for divorce in the state where the:

  • Couple has legal residence
  • Military member claims legal residence
  • Military member is stationed

How do you serve papers in a military divorce in New Jersey?

As in a civilian divorce, the plaintiff spouse must have the defendant spouse served with papers. Of course, this issue becomes complicated in cases where a spouse needs to serve papers to a service member. The majority of military bases have a designated official who handles legal matters for the base and acts as a law enforcement officer. The defendant must be willing to accept the service of papers. If they do not, the defendant may request a “stay” on the divorce, thereby prolonging the process. The stay can’t last forever, but service members have the right to put the divorce on hold while their duty prevents them from participating.

How are military divorces different in New Jersey?

In contrast to most civilian divorces, the government protects military members from default judgments. The Service Member Relief Act states that while a service member is actively serving the country and may not be able to address the divorce case, the court may not issue any judgments on any aspect of the divorce without the involvement of the service member or his or her legal representative.

Furthermore, according to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act of 1982, New Jersey courts can treat a military pension as marital property and distribute it equitably with the rest of the assets. Per the Act, a spouse may be eligible for a portion of the divided military pension if:

  • The spouses were married for at least a decade, and
  • The military spouse served for at least a decade

As with any other divorce, you can take nothing for granted, so please reach out to one of our skilled Bergen County, NJ family law and divorce attorneys today.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

To speak with our team of family law lawyers today, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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