About Me

Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Hello, I'm Karla Mitchell. Going through a legal case can be very expensive and challenging. I won't go into details, but I recently underwent my own legal battle that lasted several years. It is finally over and I successfully received a settlement, but I had to spend so much time studying law in order to play my role in my own court case. While I found a great attorney at one point, I felt completely lost initially and I don't want anyone else to experience the same thing. So I decided to create this blog for those who would like to know more about law.


Latest Posts

Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Filing A Divorce While Stationed Overseas

by Andrew Martin

Filing for a divorce if you or your spouse is a member of the US military can be a little more complicated than an ordinary divorce. Although military divorces are handled by civil courts, military members have a few extra benefits, rules, and regulations that can be both helpful and sometimes difficult to navigate. If the military member is currently stationed overseas, either accompanied or unaccompanied by his or her family, things can get even more complicated. Before you begin the process, you will want to remember the following things. 

Legal Advice

Both spouses, not only the military member, are entitled to free legal counseling through their local legal assistance office. They will have to secure two separate attorneys. However, either spouse may elect to secure a private attorney, if they choose. 

Where to File for Divorce 

As a military service member, there are several places where you can legally file for a divorce. You may file where you currently reside, whether that is in the United States or overseas. You may also file where your non-military spouse currently resides. This may be easiest if your spouse is currently in the United States and you are abroad or on assignment in another state. Finally, you may file for divorce in the state of the military member's home of record, which is useful if neither you nor your spouse are comfortable with the legal system where you are currently living, such as when you are both overseas.  

Service Members Civil Relief Act

The Service Members Civil Relief Act protects military members from being punished by failing to attend court proceedings because they are currently stationed elsewhere and are unable to attend court where the proceedings were filed. This can mean decisions in divisions of assets and custody may be legally delayed until a military member returns to the United States from overseas. However, the Civil Relief Act is not automatic. As a service member, you must file for a stay of proceedings with the assistance of the legal counsel on your base. As the spouse of a military member, you may be asked to submit an affidavit stating whether or not your spouse is in the military when you file proceedings against them. 

Housing Benefits 

Military family housing is set aside for military families living together. The exception to this is when a service member is on assignment overseas, his or her family may continue to occupy military family housing at their home base. If you and your spouse separate or divorce, both parties will be required to vacate the military family housing, whether you are living overseas or in the United States. Generally, this must be done within thirty days of your divorce, but if you are living in military housing overseas, you should talk with your installation commander for the exact time frame of your evacuation of the family home. 

If you live in private housing, you should be aware that the military member's housing assistance will be adjusted to reflect their non-married status after a divorce. 

Relocation Allowance 

If the nonmilitary spouse is living overseas with the military member, they may be eligible for assistance to move back to the United States. This is filed for under the Early Return for Dependents Package and may include airfare for the nonmilitary spouse and dependent children as well as the transportation of a portion of household goods. 

Getting a divorce while a military member is stationed overseas can be a complicated, slow process. However, there are several benefits that military members have access to that will assist both the military and nonmilitary spouse through the process. For more information, contact an attorney, such as those found at Karen Robins Carnegie PLC.