Divorcing While Deployed: What You Need to Know
Will Deployment Affect My Divorce?
Divorce is never an easy process, but when you are an active servicemember and deployed overseas, going through a divorce becomes even more difficult. Not only are you dealing with the acute stress of deployment, you may be overwhelmed with worry that your future will be adversely affected because you are not home to deal with your divorce. When you are deployed, you have a lot on your plate, and the last thing you want to worry about is what is going on with your divorce proceedings back home.
If you are an active service member (or married to one) and are considering divorce, there are a few things you should know. Below we go over a few important aspects of military divorces and how deployment may affect your situation.
Keep reading for answers to these frequently asked questions about deployment and divorce.
Can You Begin Divorce Proceedings While Deployed?
Yes, you can begin divorce proceedings while deployed. As an active servicemember, you may also be served with divorce papers while deployed. However, just because your spouse chooses to file for divorce while you are deployed doesn’t necessarily mean you have to respond immediately. Instead, you can have the proceedings stayed and deal with your divorce when your deployment is over and once you have returned home and can respond.
As a servicemember, you are protected by the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA has specific protections in it related to civil court proceedings, such as divorce. The active service member is protected from default judgments and can stay civil proceedings for up to 60 days after returning from active deployment. This enables you to focus on your job while deployed without having to worry about your divorce until you return.
For more information, review our blog, “Military Divorce & You: A Guide.”
Should I Hire a Lawyer While Deployed or Wait?
If you have been served divorce papers while deployed, or you know that your spouse is planning to file for divorce, it is recommended that you secure legal representation as soon as possible. Your attorney can do a lot of legwork when it comes to getting started on your case and protecting your interests, even while deployed.
At the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C., we have helped many service members deal with their divorces and worked with many during their deployment. We understand the unique challenges you face and are prepared to use our experience to help you. Send us a message online to schedule a consultation.
Can I Get a Divorce While Stationed Overseas?
You can get a divorce while stationed overseas. However, it is a little more complicated than if you were stated in the U.S. As with service members who are actively deployed, if you are stationed overseas, you are also protected by the SCRA and can file for a stay on the proceedings. Under 50 U.S. Code § 3932, if the service member has received notice of the divorce action, they can apply for a stay of at least 90 days. There may also be the option to apply for an additional stay when their military service continues to affect their ability to appear in court.
Just as in situations where the service member is deployed, if you are going through a divorce while stationed overseas, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact our law firm today for help if you are in this situation.