Although military divorces and civilian divorces are similar in many respects, U.S. service members and their spouses must follow certain rules when they file for divorce.
For example, Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, 50 UCS section 521 prevent current service members from being held in "default" if they cannot respond to a divorce action in a timely manner. Additionally, proceedings can be postponed until the service member finishes his/her duty.
Requirements for a Military Divorce in Oklahoma
As far as residency and filing requirements are concerned, you or your spouse must live or must be stationed, in Oklahoma. All divorce issues are governed by state laws.
In addition to Oklahoma property division laws, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) dictates how military couples calculate and divide military retirement benefits upon divorce. The USFSPA provides a former spouse of a service member with a share of military retirement benefits.
Keep in mind, if the spouse has not been married to the service member for 10 years or longer while the member has been active duty military, the former spouse will not receive any military retirement benefits.
Furthermore, spouses of former military members are also eligible for complete medical coverage, as well as, exchange and commissary privileges, when,
- (1) the marriage lasts for at least 20 years
- (2) the service member has been in the military for at least 20 years
- (3) the period of the marriage and military service overlap
Serving an Active Military Spouse
In order for an Oklahoma court to have jurisdiction over the active military member, he or she needs to be personally served with a summons and a copy of the divorce action. In the event of an uncontested divorce, the active duty spouse may not have to be served as long as he or she signs and files a waiver affidavit which acknowledges the divorce action.
With more than five decades of collective experience, our legal team at the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. extensively researches and prepares each case, to develop a unique strategy for our clients’ particular situation.
For more information, contact us and request a free meeting today.