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Military divorce issues

44838961_S.jpgDivorce is often an emotional time for Illinois couples. Whether a case is legally challenging depends on a number of factors, including whether one or both spouses are serving in the military. While military divorces can be straightforward, it is important that all parties understand the laws and rules involved.

A service member, or his or her spouse, can file for divorce in a state where one of the spouses holds legal residence. it should be noted, however, that if the spouses have legal residence in different states, federal law gives the courts in the state where the service member resides the power to divide his or her military pension in a divorce.

Another factor to consider is that the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act gives an active duty service members some additional time to respond to a divorce petition. This does not allow a service member to delay a divorce indefinitely, but it does provide the service member with time to respond to the petition with due consideration.

In addition, most branches of the military have specific rules about child support amounts, and these rules must be taken into consideration when parents negotiate support for minor children. Other financial issues include health insurance availability after the divorce, as well as the division or management of Thrift Savings and Survivor Benefit Plans.

Service members and their spouses often have access to legal assistance through the military, but many often want to retain a civilian attorney to handle a divorce. They may benefit from speaking with an attorney who is familiar with these types of military family law issues.

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