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Overseas military divorce

Chicago, IL |

My spouse is active duty military and we are stationed overseas. I am not active duty. I want to file for a divorce and I will be asking for maintenance since I quit a job I had for 10+ yrs and left school with one yr left before earning my BA, to take care of his minor children full-time. (They have issues that require full-time care). I have no worked since he got custody of his kids. I know he will not want a divorce as it will affect his career and his finances. I also want to be able to divide the property we have, which is just household goods and vehicles. He has a friend who works at the legal office here on base, so I am not comfortable seeking help there. Since we live overseas, where would I file the paperwork or find an attorney? His state of legal residence is IL. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

It is your filing, you would file in the state where you meet the requirements to file: in most cases that will be your state of legal residence. Some would argue that if you know you are going to live in state X after the divorce, you might consider establishing residency there and filing for divorce when you have qualified to file (frequently after six months of residency--depends on circumstances, sense of urgency, finances etc.

Also, so what if your husband has a friend at the legal service office--if the office offers clinics on separation and divorce you would be foolish not to go and learn as much as you can. The "friend' may or may not know you are there, may or may not have an interest, That friend would be risking his/her professional reputation in the small legal support or JAG community if he/she spoke out of turn about what he/she knew. Also, if that friend is an attorney he/she would be killing a career to speak to your husband about your presence in the office.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

Posted

Your husband will have the right to invoke the Servicemens Civil Relief Act, formerly known as the Soldlers and Sailors Act. If he does, your divorce will be delayed. Additionally, maintenance will not be automatic for you as there are many factors to be considered when awarding maintenance unless it it agreed upon. Furthermore, there is probably little that your local JAG office can do, even if your husband has a friend there, because those lawyers will defer to civilian attorneys in the state of residence. If you file in Illinois, you must be able to come here at least once to finalize your divorce, and perhaps several times if motions are heard. Your next step would be to consult with one or more attorneys in the county where either you or your husband reside and if you decide to proceed right now, hire the one you like best. Make sure your attorney is well versed in the special circumstances surrounding divorcing a member of the military.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

COncur with Attorney Goldstein--adding that your local base most likely will have a separation/divorce clinic--larger bases monthly, smaller maybe less frequently) offered to spouses and members. Good general info.

Posted

Follow Ms. Goldstein's advice. She's been very good in her advice to military people with divorce issues. Maybe she's in your county.

www.court-martial.com; www.court-martial.us.com; mljucmj@gmail.com 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

Thank you, Mr. Cave. A very kind comment.

Joseph Henry Sparacino

Joseph Henry Sparacino

Posted

Ms. Goldstein is correct on the application of the Service Member's Civil Relief Act. But, Mr. Cave might want to check a map as Ms. Goldstein is in Will County and Chicago is in Cook County.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

Mr. Sparacino - Mr. Case and I have become acquainted with each other through this website. He is a wealth of information when it comes to military issues. Like you, he also has not implied that I cannot provide services outside Will County. As a matter of fact, I am located only a few miles from the Cook County border and practiced almost exclusively in Cook for the first 20 or so years of my legal career. Like you, I am licensed to practice in the entire state. Knowing that you travel all over the state, I am surprised you would make such a comment restricting me to just Will County.

Joseph Henry Sparacino

Joseph Henry Sparacino

Posted

Dear Ms. Goldstein, I am afraid my comment was misinterpreted. I was wondering about Mr. Case's geographical knowledge for the asker. I am aware of your extensive experience in Cook County.

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