About half of marriages in the United States annually end in divorce. Any spouse has the right to file for divorce, provided that the marriage is legal. Dissolution of marriage itself has clear procedures and conditions, however, if one spouse is a serviceman divorce has nuances.
In case of military divorce, the same issues must be resolved as in the case of ordinary termination which include:
- proof of residency;
- preparation of forms and filing;
- serving a summons;
- division of property, child custody, financial support;
- attending court sessions and getting a final decree.
However, the details of these questions may be much more complicated in comparison with the divorce of civilians.
Residency Requirements And Filing
It’s possible to file for divorce in Indiana in two cases:
- either spouse is a state resident, or
- either or both spouses live in Indiana for at least 6 months before filing a lawsuit.
An active duty spouse who is a resident of another state has the right to file for divorce in Indiana, provided that he or she has been in military service in Indiana for at least 6 months.
The plaintiff, the spouse who is going to file for divorce, must complete all forms that match the circumstances of the marriage. All the necessary papers can be obtained from the court clerk or be downloaded from the Indiana Supreme Court website. When the papers are ready, the plaintiff must make 2 copies and file papers with the court of the county where she or he lives.
Ground For Divorce
Military divorce in Indiana has the same grounds as any other divorce in this state. The allowed reasons may be no-fault: irreconcilable differences. Or fault: adultery, impotence, incurable insanity for two continuous years.
Serving An Active Military Spouse
After the divorce case is filed with the court, the plaintiff must provide copies of the papers to the respondent in order for him or her to become familiar with the terms of the termination. If the defendant is an active military member, then the law requires the plaintiff to hand over documents only to the defendant personally. In the case of an uncontested divorce, when both spouses agree to dissolve a marriage, the military defendant may not be served, since he or she signs the waiver affidavit, which confirms the intention to participate in the divorce proceedings.
Federal Law Affecting Military Divorce
Federal law protects active servicemen from default divorce. According to the Soldiers ’and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, an active duty spouse receives a deferment from the divorce proceedings for the entire period of service plus extra 60 days. Although a military spouse must show that because of military service, he or she is unable to appear in court. Also, an active duty spouse has the ability to waive the right if he or she wants to get a divorce as well.
Another important law is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses ’Protection Act, which protects a military pension. In case of divorce, there is a rule of 10, which indicates that the military pension can be divided, provided that the marriage lasted at least 10 years and all this time the military spouse was on duty.
Separation of property is an important part of divorce. This process is exactly the same as for non-military spouses. In Indiana courts adhere to the principle of justice, which means that property should be distributed fairly, although it does not always mean that in equal proportions. Spouses divide only common property, all that was acquired by them during the marriage, while separate property remains to belong to the spouse who acquired it.
Child Custody And Support
If the couple have common minor children, they must share custody. It is believed that the active duty spouse may lose parental rights. However, it’s not true. The court cannot deprive a parent of rights only on the basis that he or she is on military service and does not have the opportunity to see the child frequently. The court always assumes what is best suited for a child, most likely in such a situation the main custody will be awarded to the parent who is not in military service, while the active duty parent will have a flexible schedule for visiting the kid. Both parents can also agree with each other and distribute custody at their discretion.
Regardless of whether parents live together or not, both are obliged to provide the child with finances. In Indiana there are Child Support Guidelines, on the basis of which the necessary amount of child financial support is calculated. Usually, payments come from a non-custodial parent to main custodian. When calculating the amount judge takes into account the financial capabilities of both spouses, as well as their gross weekly income.
A spouse who has financial difficulties is entitled to receive financial support from his or her almost former . The amount is calculated on the basis of the characteristics of the marriage and the financial situation of each spouse, payments continue until the receiving spouse begins to provide himself/herself or gets married. It is also worth noting that the amount of alimony and child support can not exceed 60% of the salaries and benefits of military spouse.
Divorce with a serviceman is covered with various myths, most of which are not true. It is worth noting that a divorce is not always easy emotionally and legally, especially since a military divorce has its own nuances. Therefore, it makes sense to consult with a specialist before filing for a dissolution.