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How Does Military Deployment Affect Divorce Proceedings?

 Posted on September 14, 2022 in Divorce

Michigan military divorce lawyerGetting a divorce is never easy, but it can be especially complicated when one or both spouses are active members of the United States Armed Forces. From filing a divorce to modifying a custody order, a spouse’s deployment can have a significant effect on the timing and outcome of the proceedings. 

In this blog, we will discuss how a spouse’s military deployment specifically affects the divorce proceedings - how and where divorce can be filed, what happens if a spouse is unable to attend court dates, and more. If you or your spouse are deployed and talking about getting a divorce, make sure you have help from a Michigan divorce attorney. 

Where Does a Couple File for Divorce During a Spouse’s Deployment? 

For a couple to file for divorce in a particular state, at least one spouse has to have residency in that state. Military members who move around frequently during their service may be unsure of whether they should file in their home state or the state in which they are currently deployed. 

Fortunately, there are usually options. In Michigan, you can file for divorce if you or your spouse have lived in the state for at least 180 days before filing for divorce and in the specific county for at least 10 days before filing for divorce. You could also file for divorce in your home state if you maintain residence there or if your spouse still lives there. If there is more than one option, the best state to file for divorce may depend on whether a specific state’s laws are more favorable to a preferred outcome (if, for example, you want to avoid a state’s “cooling off” period before a divorce can begin). 

Can a Divorce Proceed If a Spouse Is Deployed Overseas? 

An overseas or even long-distance out-of-state deployment can make it impractical or impossible for a spouse to respond to a divorce petition in a reasonable amount of time. Regardless of whether a military spouse is deployed across the county or on the other side of the world, as long as they are deployed, they may apply for a stay (a pause) in divorce proceedings and the divorce court will nearly always usually grant it. 

The stay halts divorce proceedings until the deployed spouse returns home and for 60 days thereafter. While temporary orders pertaining to issues like child support or child custody may be issued, no default judgments can be issued while a spouse is deployed. 

Call a Farmington Hills, MI Military Divorce Lawyer

Whether you are deployed or married to a spouse who is deployed, it is important to understand how military service affects the divorce process in Michigan. For help with your case, hire an experienced Novi, MI military divorce attorney with Elkouri Heath, PLC. We have experience helping military families get divorced and we are confident we can help you, too. Call 248-344-9700 to schedule your free consultation today. 





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