Divorce is always stressful, but it can be especially difficult when one spouse is deployed. Spouses of military members who wish to pursue divorce can still do so, but it is important to understand how military divorce is different. Here, we explore three things divorcing military members may want to consider before filing for divorce.
Choosing a Venue
Usually, a person can only get divorced in the county where they live, but active service members often have several options when it comes to the location in which they get divorced. These may include:
The state where the military member is stationed
The state the military member lived in before deploying
The state where the military member pays taxes
The state where the military member’s spouse lives if the spouse files for divorce
While different states have different residency requirements for getting divorced, Illinois requires someone to live in the state for at least 90 days. This includes military members, who must be stationed in Illinois for a minimum of 90 days before filing for divorce.
As always, the best interests of the child are the primary concern of Illinois courts when making decisions about parental responsibilities and parenting time in an Illinois divorce. However, active military members can request makeup parenting time before or after a deployment, extended parenting time during leave, and can even ask the court to designate the military parent’s share of parenting time to someone else while they are deployed (such as a child’s grandparent or stepparent).
Dividing Retirement Benefits
Marital and non-marital property is divided according to Illinois law. Generally, however, a marriage must have lasted for at least 10 years before a military spouse is entitled to directly receive any portion of a military member’s retirement benefits. Before that, a spouse may be entitled to a share of the military member’s retirement benefits but will have to receive them from the spouse rather than the dispersing entity. Illinois judges usually prefer to sever ties between spouses, so, if the marriage lasted less than ten years, they may try to compensate a spouse with other marital assets.
Call a Wheaton Military Divorce Lawyer
Getting divorced when one spouse is an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces may be easier with the help of an experienced DuPage County military divorce attorney with Andrew Cores Family Law Group. We have helped many families get divorced under very complex circumstances and we will work hard to represent your family’s unique needs. To learn more about our firm and how we can help you, call us today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free initial consultation.