Military couples seeking divorce face unique challenges that differ from their civilian counterparts. While the grounds for divorce are the same for military and civilian divorces, the rules and regulations that apply are different and the military governs a large part of the proceedings. There are unique aspects of a military divorce in Maryland.
For the Maryland court to have jurisdiction over the divorce proceedings, the active duty spouse must be personally served with a summons and copy of the divorce action. If the spouse does not contest the divorce, then this requirement may be waived if he or she signs and files a waiver affidavit.
Serving the Divorce Papers
Military couples are often in the situation that the location of the spouse on active duty is not known to the family. This means the task of finding that person and serving them with divorce papers will fall to the spouse seeking the divorce. If the Social Security number of the person on duty is known, it can be used to track them through the recruiting office where they enlisted, or via the last place they were stationed.
A military divorce may be postponed for the entire length of duty that the active service member is serving, and up to 60 days afterwards. This is because of laws that protect military members away on active duty from being divorced without their knowledge. The right to postponement may be waived by the active duty member should they wish to proceed with the divorce.
To obtain a military divorce in Maryland, the state requires that at least one spouse be stationed in Maryland or reside in Maryland.
Child/Spousal Support Payments
A military divorce will use Maryland child support guidelines to determine the correct amount of support that should be paid. Additionally, military regulations state that any child or spousal support may not exceed 60 percent of the military member’s pay and allowances.
Division of Property
Maryland state law guides property division in a military divorce. There are also federal laws known as the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) that dictate how military retirement benefits are calculated and divided in a military divorce. A direct payment of a portion of the pay that goes to retired members of the military may be made to the former spouse with the authorization of the USFSPA. Under federal law, the divorcing couple must have been married at least 10 years while the military spouse served active duty in order for the former spouse to receive any part of a military member’s retirement pay.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Provide Knowledgeable Legal Counsel for Military Divorces in Maryland
A military divorce involves legal complexities that require the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable divorce lawyer. At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC our dedicated Towson divorce lawyers can handle any aspect of divorce and family law. Call us today at 443-589-0150 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. You can also contact us online. We have offices conveniently located in Towson and Hunt Valley, serving Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.