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Filing requirements in military divorce may differ

Arizona residents may be interested in decisions military couples may face when they decide to divorce. Military life often involves transfers and periods of deployment, and couples may live in many states before retirement. The choice about where to divorce depends on multiple issues. Residency for the purpose of divorce means that at least one spouse resides in or has a domicile in the state where the divorce is filed. Residency requirements and time limits vary from state to state, so for military divorce this may mean living in one state while filing in another. This is particularly true if a transfer was recently completed.

Choosing a state in which to file is usually based on where one votes or has a bank account. Other factors may include where a driver's license is issued, where a car's registration is from or where a property is owned. Filing in the state where spouses live may save money and time in terms of travel cost to confer with an attorney or time away from work if both parties must be present in family court.

Some differences in state laws may make filing difficult in one state as opposed to another. Questions concerning the division of military pensions in a divorce settlement, or the time states require a couple to be separated before divorce proceedings begin, may affect their decision. Likewise, some states have no-fault rules while others consider a reason for the divorce such as adultery. In the latter case, awards for alimony or property division may be affected.

When one or both spouses are active duty, it may be beneficial to consult an attorney with experience in military divorce concerning options for filing. The attorney may assist a spouse in deciding if requirements and statutes in a particular state are favorable.

Source: Military.com, "Military Divorce: Why Where You File Matters", November 03, 2014

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