Both military members and those not in service follow the same process to obtain a divorce in Arizona. However, those in the military have to deal with additional factors that can affect the overall outcome. If you’re in the military, it’s a good idea to understand what these additional factors are so that you can prepare yourself.
Active service could delay proceedings
Due to the transient nature of a military lifestyle, military divorce proceedings may take longer than usual. If a military member is on active duty overseas or in a remote location, the proceedings may not be able to take place until they return back to the States. If you’re currently stationed in a state that you do not consider your primary residence, you may be able to file for divorce in the state that you’re stationed in.
Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA)
The USFSPA is a federal statute that was enacted to help those in the military obtain more favorable outcomes regarding military divorce issues like spousal support, military pensions, military pay and even child support. The big difference that this federal statute is that it permits the court to classify a military person’s retired pay as property instead of income.
Unlike traditional retirement accounts, military pensions are treated differently. According to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, former non-military spouses may receive some of the military member’s pension if they meet specific eligibility requirements. These include being married for at least 10 years with at least 10 years that overlap military service.
Going through a divorce can be both emotionally taxing and overwhelming. If you’re a military member, you’ll have to deal with additional issues as well. By understanding what these issues are, you can better prepare yourself.