When Your Spouse Is Overseas And You Want To File For Divorce

Filing for divorce can be difficult at the best of times, but when you have to file in an entirely different state or country, things get even more complicated which is why you will need a military divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA. Not only do you have to deal with filing requirements and paperwork but also how to proceed with your spouse if he or she is overseas in the military (or if you are overseas yourself). If this situation applies to you, don’t fret — you’re not alone! Our friends at Robinson & Hadeed have shared some useful information below.

How to File for Divorce?

To file for divorce, you need to be able to prove where your spouse is currently deployed. This can be difficult to figure out, so enlisting a lawyer may make things easier for you. And in some cases, it may make sense to wait until your spouse is back stateside before filing because of potentially tough overseas procedures or laws. If the process would not have been different if your spouse was on base, then it might not be necessary to wait. In most cases, people get divorced while their spouses are stationed overseas as opposed to waiting when they return home.

What is a No-fault Divorce Law?

Sometimes you’ll hear no-fault divorce laws referred to as domestic partnership termination. No-fault divorce is a legal method of ending a marriage or domestic partnership in which one party does not have to prove that another spouse or partner did something wrong or broke an agreement, such as marital vows. The grounds for a no-fault divorce are irreconcilable differences. It may be the most popular type of divorce.

What Are the Grounds for Filing Based on Different Reasons?

If you have been married for at least six months, you are eligible to file based on irreconcilable differences. If there is a valid reason such as abandonment, cruel treatment or adultery, you can file based on that. However, if your spouse is overseas in military service and it has been less than 18 months since your last living together day, then neither of these apply. There may be an exception if one of you separates from each other under extreme circumstances. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), the state law recognizes a marriage dissolution when the servicemember moves out of state after separating from his or her spouse. The service member must also intend to live apart permanently.

What Can I Expect from Going through the Process?

If you do decide that divorce is your best option, there are a few things you should know about how it will likely go. First, if your spouse is deployed, he or she may not be able to respond to process servers or show up at hearings. This isn’t done maliciously; it just makes sense that they can’t drop everything when there’s an issue with their location. The same will likely apply even if your spouse is serving in one of our overseas bases — even though they are technically present in a U.S. state, they won’t be reachable while overseas.

Contact a military divorce lawyer today to get help with your divorce case.