Serving in the military can put stress on a servicemember and their family. In the event of a divorce, there are some unique challenges and issues that should be considered and addressed. Our law firm understands the complexities and nuances of military divorce. Here, our Mankato military divorce lawyers highlight four key things that military members and military spouses should know about marital separation in Minnesota.
1. The Same General Divorce & Family Law Principles Apply
As a starting point, it is important to recognize that military divorces share many commonalities with non-military divorces. This is not to say that there are no differences—indeed, we will discuss some of the most important differences below—but, in a military divorce, many of the rules, standards, and procedures are the same as they are in any civilian divorce. For example, the grounds for divorce are the same and the best interests of the child standard still apply to any related custody case.
2. Civil Cases May Be Postponed During Deployment
One of the most important differences between a military divorce and a civilian divorce is that civil proceedings must be postponed pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Under the SCRA, a divorce cannot proceed against a military member who is on active duty deployment. In this situation, divorce or family law proceedings will typically be postponed until a military member’s deployment is over.
3. Minnesota’s Residency Requirements are Relaxed
To file for divorce in Minnesota, you or your spouse must be a resident of the state. That being said, the residency requirements are somewhat relaxed for military members. If you or your spouse is stationed in Minnesota, you may be eligible to file for divorce in the state—even without a permanent address off the base.
4. Dividing Military Benefits Can Be Complicated
Of course, dividing property and assets is one of the biggest challenges facing any couple that is going through a divorce. For military members, dividing assets can be even more complicated. Your divorce may be affected by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). Under the USFSPA, certain military benefits—most importantly, a military pension—may be subject to distribution. Our Mankato, MN military divorce lawyers will carefully review your assets and liabilities, including all military benefits. In doing so, we will ensure that you understand how the law works and we will take proactive measures to protect your financial interests.
Call Our Minnesota Military Divorce Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Minnesota military divorce lawyers are skilled, passionate advocates for our clients. We have two attorneys on staff who have military experience and we have handled a number of complex military divorce cases.
If you are preparing for divorce, we will protect your rights and help you find the best available solutions. Contact our legal team for a confidential consultation, call 507-625-5000. We represent clients in Mankato and all over Southern Minnesota, including in Blue Earth County, Nicollet County, and Le Sueur County.