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Military divorce: Where to file the paperwork

7515749_s.jpgFor Illinois residents who want to get a divorce, what state to file in is rather straight-forward. Unlike those in the military, it is normally clear to both spouses where their residency is. However, with military spouses, it can become rather complicated when trying to figure out where to file for divorce.

In looking at the issue, let's say a couple is from Illinois. They marry in Illinois, but then the husband is deployed out of the country and the wife goes to live on base. After being out of the U.S. for more than a year, the two come back to the U.S., only this time live in another state. Just two months into living there the two want a divorce.

In this type of situation, there may be more than one choice. And, since some states have rules that could be seen as positives and negatives, as a spouse it is important to know these rules ahead of time in order to make an informed decision.

In looking at where to file for divorce, there are also a few key points to keep in mind. The first being that the state to file in has to be somewhere the spouses actually lived, not just somewhere that would be better for tax purposes. Additionally, keep in mind that the state where a couple got married has nothing to do with where they can get divorced.

In general, when thinking of where to file, the advice is to think of where taxes are paid, votes are made, where a bank account is and what state a driver's license is issued in. Looking at these types of factors can make it easier to decide where to file.

Also, keep in mind that figuring out where to file is only half of the battle. Rather, understand that military divorce is unique with the possibility of family law issues that would not normally arise in a civilian divorce. This is why it is important to reach out to an attorney with experience handling military divorce in order to make sure best interests of a spouse -- and any children -- are kept in mind.

Source: Military.com, "Military Divorce: Why Where You File Matters," Rebekah Sanderlin, accessed June 10, 2013

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