As a military member, you may get deployed on a schedule that doesn’t necessarily fit with the rest of your life. For instance, your spouse may tell you that they want a divorce when you still won’t be home for months.
You may feel strangely disconnected from the process. Is it all going to happen without you? What are your options?
Understanding the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
One thing to note is that you can benefit from the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. It can:
- Stop default judgments when there was no way for you to respond in time.
- Give you deadline extensions so that you can deal with the divorce on your schedule.
In civilian life, people often ignore divorce filings when they do not want to get divorced. They think they can obstruct the process. To help people still get out of these marriages, the courts can rule for a default divorce when the other person fails to respond or misses key deadlines.
In your case, though, you may want to respond and have every intention of doing so, but you can’t because you’re deployed. It would be unfair to treat you the same as a citizen who wasn’t responding on purpose. This does not mean you can delay the divorce indefinitely, but it does mean that your spouse is not going to go through the entire divorce process without your input.
Understanding your rights
Because of the lifestyle of someone who is in the military, divorce can be very complex. If you are in this position, it’s critical to understand your rights and all of the options you have. An attorney can help you learn more.