Although it may sometimes seem that a person's life is on hold during a military deployment, the fact is that life goes on for Gulfport military families. This means that divorce may crop up as an issue for service members and their spouses. Can a service member file a divorce petition while they are on active duty? Can their non-service member spouse? This blog post will address these questions briefly.
The legal aspects of service members' lives are governed in part by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This federal law also controls how states can regulate the lives of service members and their families. The act provides that U.S. service members cannot begin divorce proceedings while on active duty and that they cannot have divorce proceedings filed against them while on active duty. Furthermore, the act gives courts discretion to extend the prohibition to 60 days following active duty.
As for service members not on active duty, federal law also controls their divorces. For example, federal law, in conjunction with Mississippi state law, allows divorce cases to be heard in Mississippi state court if the service member is stationed in Mississippi, even if their primary residence is somewhere else. Federal law also governs how military retirement pay and military benefits can be divided between spouses in a divorce.
Despite these limitations, military divorces are often governed by state law as well, and many military divorces proceed in a manner similar to the divorces of civilians. As always, many divorcing service members in Mississippi benefit from the advice of Mississippi divorce attorneys.