Service Member Divorce Proceedings
In a divorce where one or more of the parties involved are service members the procedures essentially remain the same as they are in cases where both spouses are civilians. There are a few exceptions however as laws governing military personnel vary from civil laws.
Issues with Jurisdiction
An issue with jurisdiction may pose a major problem in a divorce proceeding involving a service member, this is due to; under Colorado laws a divorce may only be filed if one or both parties are residents of Colorado. The problem arises due to service member being able to elect the state they wish to be residence of, this makes it possible for a service member to be based in Colorado for a prolonged period but not be considered a resident of this state.
In a military divorce case, if a service member has not made any attempts to establish residency in Colorado and has also elected another state as their resident state; Colorado civil laws would not have jurisdiction over that service member for the dissolution of marriage. For the divorce to be filed in Colorado one of the spouses would need to be a resident of the state.
Legal proceedings cannot proceed while service member is on duty
In military divorce cases where a service member can be summoned to appear for the dissolution of a marriage a further hindrance may be posed as military laws protect service members from having a court case brought against them while they are on duty and unable to appear for court; under the Service Member Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
A service member is able to opt out of the protection offered by SCRA and have their case proceed while they are on duty with accommodations being made for telephone conferences as well as postponing the case while the member is on duty and resuming when they become available for court appearances.
Disruptions in resolving the case due to service member being away on duty can present a massive burden to the other parties involved in the divorce proceeding as they may be required to attend certain proceedings necessary for arrangement for bills as well as other payments to be made.
Issues with Acquiring Benefits
Under Colorado laws VA disability pay will not be subject to division during the divorce proceeding however it will be taken into account when determining child and spousal support.
An issue may arise when attempting to secure military retirement status during the divorce proceeding as this case may need to be filed in the state that the service member is resident of; if the service member is not under the jurisdiction of the Colorado judicial system.
Other impediments may be faced when attempting to calculate the pension that you are eligible for during a divorce involving a service member; your skilled military divorce attorney from Moran & Associates will be able to utilize expertise gained through years of experience to ensure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to during the proceedings.