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Where can you file for divorce when you're in the military?

When it comes to civilian divorces, laws surrounding where you can file your divorce are very cut and dried. It's the state where you reside.

It's different though when it comes to military divorces. As a service member, you or your spouse can file in one of three different places. You can file in the state where you retain legal residence or where your spouse does. You divorce proceedings can be initiated in the state you are stationed in as well. You may even be eligible to file in a fourth state if you own property there.

Deciding where to file isn't a decision that should be taken lightly. You should instead carefully consider the laws of the state in which you're looking to file your petition. If you don't, then you may find yourself holding the short end of the stick when it comes to how child custody or support, property division and alimony decisions are made.

You should also review each applicable states' different residency requirements that must be met in order to file for divorce. When doing so, it's important to keep in mind that you're not required to get divorced in the same state in which you got married. So long as you can prove residency and both spouses can agree on jurisdiction, the proceeds can move forward in whichever state it's filed in.

Proving residency if you haven't lived somewhere in the recent past may seem like a monumental task. If you have a driver's license, are a member of a church, own a car, have a bank account or pay taxes in a state, then you're likely to have enough evidence on hand showing that you're a resident.

If you're considering filing in another state, then you'll also want to consider the work involved in proving residency there as well as travel time and expenses involved with making appearances at divorce hearings. After calculating those numbers, you may find that filing in what was once the more desirable state to do so became cost prohibitive to do.

Deciding where to initiate divorce proceedings if you're a member of the armed forces can be a complex decision to make. This is why you may benefit from discussing the pros and cons of doing so with an experienced Colorado Springs military divorce attorney.

Source: Military.com, "Military divorce: Why where you file matters," accessed May 18, 2018

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