Elkouri Heath, PLC


39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

What You Should Know About Military Divorce

 Posted on October 06, 2020 in Divorce

Oakland County military divorce attorney

Serving in the military comes with obvious risks, but not everyone thinks about the risks their relationships may face. The unfortunate truth is that being an enlisted service member or an officer means your chances of getting divorced are much higher than those associated with a marriage between two civilians.

Factors that can lead to a ruined relationship include the extremely high stress of certain military jobs, being away for months at a time, and having to put your service before your family again and again. Service members who have experienced trauma while deployed or during training have an even higher divorce rate, with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and an inability to assimilate back into civilian life being common contributors to divorce

Military divorce is similar to civilian divorce in various ways and much different in others. An experienced military divorce attorney can assist you as a service member or a civilian in your divorce.

Military Divorce Rate Is High

Of the top 30 careers with the highest divorce rates, military occupations placed tenth, according to Market Watch. This includes first-line enlisted military supervisors, which had the highest divorce rate of any occupation, at 30 percent. Being away from home for long periods of time is the leading cause of divorce among service members, which is evidenced by the fact that the Navy has the highest divorce rate of any of the Armed Forces.

Residency in the State of Michigan – Where Do I File for Divorce?

Typically, a service member can file for divorce in the state where he or she is stationed or may elect to maintain residency in the state where he or she lived prior to going on active duty. In order to be classified as a resident of Michigan for the purposes of divorce, the service member must maintain residence in the state for at least 180 days. The divorce could also take place in Michigan if the service member’s spouse has lived in Michigan for at least 180 days.

Divorce Proceedings Cannot Begin While On Active Duty or for 60 Days After

Due to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), a member of the military is entitled to request and receive a 90-day stay of any civil proceedings to which he or she is a party. This includes divorce and child custody cases. The service member may choose to allow the proceedings to move forward, but if he or she cannot attend hearings and conferences, the stay may be necessary. Furthermore, this law usually protects service members for 60 days following active duty. Hence, if you or your partner is considering divorce, the court will not typically force the proceedings to take place while the service member is on active duty or until two months after he or she returns. This is something that needs to be taken into account and is something that does not apply to a normal civilian divorce.

Contact an Oakland County Divorce Attorney for Help

There can be additional complications with a military divorce, such as how a pension will be divided and how child custody will be handled. That is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to assist throughout the process. The knowledgeable and dedicated Novi, MI military divorce lawyers at Elkouri Heath, PLC can help. Call our office today at 248-344-9700 to schedule your free consultation. 



Share this post:
Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top