Understanding Military Divorce in New York
Making any marriage work takes a lot of time and energy. Military marriages face unique challenges and stress, making healthy relationships even harder to maintain. And just as military marriage is unique, so is military divorce.
If you are a serviceman or servicewoman considering divorce — or already there — understanding the divorce environment you face is important. In working with service members for 25 years, I help my clients understand and take advantage of protections legally available only to those in the military, including the following:
- Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Signed into law in 2003, SCRA revised and expanded protections available to servicemembers under the federal Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940 (SSCRA). Provisions of SCRA encourage active military members to focus on duties by suspending specific civil legal actions and transactions against them, including divorce, until after return from active duty.
- Uniformed Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act (USFSPA). This legislation details division of benefits earned by a spouse in the service. Certain benefits are available to former spouses only upon fulfillment of specific requirements. New York State courts can treat military retirement pay as marital property after meeting military eligibility requirements. Other requirements apply to commissary, exchange, and healthcare benefits.
Any kind of divorce is difficult and emotionally wrenching. But military divorce is different than civilian divorce. If involved in the service and considering divorce, talk to me about your rights and protecting your financial future.