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Location of filing in a military divorce makes a difference

When a civilian couple concludes that a marriage is no longer viable, the spouses file for dissolution in their state of residency. However, those who are seeking a military divorce do have options of where to file their paperwork. Service members currently residing in California may elect to file their petition here if doing so is most beneficial.

Spouses who are active members of the armed forces and decide that a divorce is the best solution to their marital difficulties likely have many decisions to make, one of which includes where one should file their paperwork. Such matters are not so clear-cut, as there may be a variety of circumstances that exist that makes such a determination necessary. Simply choosing one's current state of residency may not be the best option, particularly when the couple has not lived there for any appreciable amount of time.

In many situations, due to relocation by military orders, the state where one marries may have little to no importance in light of a military divorce. Furthermore, the state of one's birth or where one has property may be an important consideration when deciding where to file. One may take into consideration the laws in each applicable state in light of whether it would be more or less beneficial to file in that district. In addition, the costs that might be associated with a distant filing may factor into this decision.

Since some state laws require a period of separation before one can file for a divorce, a service member who is about to be deployed may elect to have that deployment be the start of the separation period, even if the other spouse is unaware at the time of that intention. In addition, when both spouses are active duty members, such a dissolution may require an entirely different approach. California residents who are contemplating a military divorce are entitled to seek information and guidance from an attorney who is experienced in these matters, in order to seek the best outcome for his or her circumstances.

Source:, "Military Divorce: Why Where You File Matters", Rebekah Sanderlin, Accessed on Sept. 11, 2017

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