US military members have a separate set of rules to follow when it comes to divorce. Even though the process of divorcing in the military is not more difficult than in the civilian world, there are federal laws and procedures that guide and protect military members during the divorce proceedings.

Just like a divorce between civilian spouses, a civilian court governs military divorce. However, serving in the military places unique demands on servicemen and women, such as being stationed somewhere else in the world than where you call home. These issues therefore have to be considered during a military divorce, with residency, child custody, and benefits dealt with differently.

There are also specific laws and acts that affect those serving in the military. For example, those on active duty in the military have to consent to the service of a summons for divorce, called the Service Member’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA), that dictates how and when a military persona may be served under the law. Also, the federal government has certain requirements for dividing military benefits according to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP).