Being in the military and having to divorce overseas can be difficult. Although service members and their spouses can file for divorce through overseas jurisdictions, the courts of the United States might not recognize the ruling. In order for the U.S. courts to recognize the overseas divorce, either you or your spouse must live in the jurisdiction ( foreign country, etc.), that grants the divorce. With the proper service and notice, then that court, in which one of you resides in whether foreign or domestic, will have the power to grant the military divorce overseas and the U.S. courts will recognize it.
You are able to avoid this potential issue by filing for divorce in a state, instead of doing it through a foreign country. Fortunately, military divorce laws allow service members and their spouses to file for divorce in either of the following:
• The state where the service member is currently stationed
• The state where the service member claims legal residency
• The state where the non-military spouse resides
When determining in which state to file, it is important to remember that the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act grants the power to divide the military pension in a divorce to the state where the service member claims legal residency. If you are living overseas when the divorce is finalized then you, your possessions, and your children may be able to return to the United States or country of origin at the government’s expense. Service members that are permanently stationed outside the United States may request early return of dependents. This will authorize the return of command-sponsored family members and their household goods before the service member’s service ends.
If you have specific questions or need help with your military divorce overseas, contact Thorsteinson Law Group, your trusted and experienced divorce and family law attorney.