Most civilian divorces are filed in the jurisdiction where the couple lives. If you are military personnel, the home you share with your spouse may not be where you currently live.

So, how is jurisdiction determined in military divorces and why does matter? Read on to learn more.

How is jurisdiction determined in a military divorce?

One spouse must legally reside or have a station in California in order for the state to have jurisdiction over the divorce. If the military spouse is not stationed in California, either spouse must have been a resident for six months and a county resident for three months.

Depending on your circumstances, you may have different options to choose from, including where the:

  • Civilian spouse who is filing resides
  • Military member is stationed
  • Military member has legal residency

If there is a difference in state between any of these, it’s important to know the divorce laws of each state.

Why does jurisdiction matter?

Whichever state you choose to file in may come with a different set of laws for determining divorce arrangement issues such as, property distribution, child custody and spousal or child support.

Overarching federal laws are also used in military divorces to divide and allocate military benefits.

How do I know which jurisdiction is best for me?

Military members should contact a divorce lawyer to learn about which state may offer the best jurisdiction to file for divorce in. A lawyer can research the differences in how divorce is handled among different states and advise which laws will be easiest or most beneficial for arranging the divorce issues that are most important