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Can I Divorce My Spouse While They Are Deployed?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects service members who are deployed by allowing them a 90-day stay of divorce proceedings, and in some instances, this stay can be extended. This means that you can begin the divorce process while your spouse is deployed, but if they are not in agreement on the matter, it may take considerably longer than it would in different circumstances. If you are facing a divorce with a deployed spouse, you need a dedicated Virginia Beach divorce attorney with considerable experience successfully handling challenging cases like yours on your side. 

How Divorce while Deployed Differs

To begin, your spouse has the legal right to delay the proceedings, but beyond this, there are several additional challenges to consider:

  • Obtaining a divorce while deployed involves the same basic steps that every divorce requires, including following all of Virginia’s divorce laws, serving divorce papers, and resolving each of the terms of divorce – all while your spouse is elsewhere.
  • The matter of the allocation of military benefits will need to be addressed in addition to the standard terms of divorce, which can prove quite complicated. 

Virginia Divorce Requirements

In order to obtain a divorce in Virginia, the following requirements apply:

  • One of you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to the filing.
  • If you share no children, you and your spouse must have been separated for at least six months and have an agreed-upon property settlement between you prior to filing.
  • If you do share children, you’ll need to have been separated for at least a year prior to filing. 

In order to obtain a no-fault divorce, a separation is required. While Virginia does allow fault-based divorces, they tend to be more complicated still, and the burden of proving your spouse’s fault in the matter will be on you. 

Resolving the Terms of Your Divorce

Ultimately, you and your divorcing spouse will need to resolve the terms of your divorce – or will need the court’s intervention on any unresolved terms – including:

  • Your child custody arrangements, including both legal custody, which is the responsibility of making primary parenting decisions, and physical custody, which is how you and your ex will divide your time with the kids
  • Child support, which is determined by the State of Virginia’s careful calculation guidelines
  • The division of marital property, which refers to the fair division of those assets that you, your spouse, or both of you together acquired during the course of your marriage
  • Alimony, which refers to a payment made by one ex with the financial means to do so to the other ex whom divorce leaves unable to support themselves financially 

A Dedicated Virginia Beach Divorce Attorney Has the Experience to Help with Your Divorce Involving Deployment

The practiced divorce attorneys at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, in Virginia Beach have reserves of experience helping our clients successfully navigate the challenging path forward when it comes to divorcing a deployed spouse. Our savvy legal team has the legal insight and drive to help, so please don’t delay contacting us for more information today.