By Chris Kramer
Members of the armed services and their spouses often face extreme pressure, both in their jobs and in their marriages. Frequent time apart, sudden moves, and the rigors of military life can often be enough to cause a couple to split.
Being enlisted can add complexity to a divorce case. Can you file if your spouse is overseas? Can you file if you recently relocated? Will a divorce violate the Air Force Code of Conduct? You can get answers to these and other questions by speaking with a local divorce lawyer.
If you are in the Air Force and considering divorce, or married to a person in the Air Force, you don't have to do it alone. A local divorce attorney might be able to help you determine what your options are. To contact a local attorney today, just fill out the form below.
To get a divorce in the Air Force, there aren't too many differences than for civilians.
It's very reasonable to think that since the Air Force has its own legal system, the JAG system, but marriage and divorce are primarily a state regulated area of the law - not federal government.
But, as is very often the case in the law, there is an exception to the state control of marriage laws. Because the calculation and division of military benefits can be very complicated, the government has enacted the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA), which will dictate how military benefits are calculated and divided.
Many Air Force men and women considering a divorce, or who are having a divorce proceeding initiated against them, think they can use an Air Force attorney to help them (Judge advocates). This, however, isn't necessarily the case.
A judge advocate is only able to represent you in a military court, and they are unable to represent you in civil court, which is where divorce cases are held.
Also, since divorce is primarily a state regulated matter, a military judge cannot hear a divorce. For many of the same reasons why an Air Force attorney cannot represent you, an Air Force judge cannot hear your case.
It is little known among Air Force men and women, but the Air Force requires active duty members to provide support for their families, even if the spouse is separate from the Air Force member. The standard required by the Air Force is the ambiguous phrase, "reasonable support."
If you are in the Air Force and considering a divorce, or if you are married to a member of the Air Force and are considering a divorce, connecting with a local divorce attorney might help you learn your options and decide what is best for you.