How Do I Divorce My Military Spouse Who is Deployed?

Two gold wedding bands sit on top of a divorce decree  with a gavel and American flag in the background

Every military relationship contains its own unique difficulties, these complications and unique circumstances also carry over into a military divorce. If you desire to divorce your military spouse while they are overseas, you have the right to do so and the procedure is the same as a civilian divorce. However, there are some factors unique to this type of divorce that would need to be considered during this process. Therefore, it is important to employ an experienced Florida Divorce Attorney who is knowledgeable of the difficulties that come along with a military divorce, as well as the benefits that are awarded to the deployed spouse as well as the spouse at home.

In every divorce, civilian or military, each party is required to state if a spouse, or both spouses are military members. This is required under the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940. This Act provides protections for deployed military members to allow them “to devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation; and to provide for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings and transactions that may adversely affect the civil rights of servicemembers during their military service.” Therefore, if you wish to proceed with a divorce while your spouse is deployed, you may do so, however, they will be afforded benefits under this act. For instance, they are able to request a hold on the proceedings. The military spouse, or the court on its own motion, is able to “stay the action for a period of not less than 90 days” if evidence or testimony is presented by the military member that their “current military duty requirements materially affect the servicemember's ability to appear” or a letter from a “commanding officer stating that the servicemember’s current military duty prevents appearance and military leave is not authorized.” This hold is not necessary and your spouse may waive these rights and continue with the divorce, however, the military member may be given some deference and leniency for deadlines regarding discovery or court appearances. With a deployed spouse, many times the timeline of the divorce is extended, whether the spouse requests a stay or not. They are provided, with a great deal of regard to allow them to maintain effective representation and protection of their rights during this time.

Along with the benefits given to the deployed spouse, there are mandatory requirements and protections of the military family at home. Military policies require military members provide financial support to their families at all times. If the military member refuses to provide or the “parties are unable to agree on a proper method to provide” such support, the spouse is able to make a complaint to the military’s commanding officer and their commander will become involved in determining proper financial support. If these items are unable to be resolved within the military command, you will be able to notify your Florida Divorce Attorney and then pursue legal ramifications for the lack of financial support.

If you are seeking a divorce from a spouse who is currently deployed, ensure you are properly represented and employ the experienced Florida Divorce Attorney who is aware and well versed in military divorces. We will seek to ensure you are protected during this process as well as the timeline is extended no longer than necessary.

Speaking to an attorney at our Florida office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 850-307-5211 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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