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Divorce for Military Families in Michigan

 Posted on March 22, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerWhen one or both spouses serve in the armed forces, divorce can become complicated. You may have complications relating to Michigan’s residency requirements for divorce. Members of the military often move every few years based on where they are ordered to serve. Parents may have special needs when it comes to creating a child custody schedule to account for the likelihood of deployment. A variety of special issues will need to be addressed when one spouse or both spouses are on active duty during their divorce. It is important to be represented by an experienced Novi, MI divorce attorney who has worked with military families before.

Child Custody Issues for Parents Who Serve 

In Michigan, the best interests of the child control custody cases. If one spouse moves every few years, the court will want to know how moving so often would affect the child. If the spouse who serves wants to relocate with the child, the court - or the parents,  by agreement - will need to determine whether staying primarily with the parent who moves often is best for the child.

You will also need to account for the possibility of deployment. Generally, the parent who is not deployed has custody of the child and decision-making rights while the other parent is overseas. The deployed parent is often given make-up time when they get home. If you both serve, you may want to create a contingency plan giving a trusted family member temporary custody until one parent returns.

Divorce During Deployment or While Stationed in Another State

Getting divorced in Michigan if one spouse has already been deployed or stationed in another state can usually be done if the residency requirements are met, but may be complicated. In most cases, your attorney can correspond with you or facilitate virtual mediation so you can create a divorce agreement. If you are contesting the divorce, you may need to seek leave to appear in court.

The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act

This act protects people who serve in any branch of the military, including airmen, marines, and those in the Coast Guard. This important law is designed to offer certain protections to people who serve and are involved in a divorce.

The Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act 

This law will control whether a military spouse’s military benefits and pensions should be treated as marital property. Equitably dividing the assets gained through a spouse’s military service can be challenging.

Contact an Oakland County, MI Military Divorce Attorney

Elkouri Heath, PLC is committed to protecting spouses who serve and military spouses during divorce. Our Novi, MI military divorce lawyers have been serving military families in Michigan for more than 20 years. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary initial consultation.

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