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Make sure your civilian divorce attorney has extensive experience with military-related family law, including a strong understanding of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) and the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA).Although military personnel and their family members have access to free legal services provided by the Judge’s Advocate General’s Corps (military officers who are also lawyers), military lawyers are not usually familiar with state divorce laws.
Every state has its own unique set of divorce laws that govern divorce actions filed therein, so consulting with a JAG attorney will be of little use to a military member going through a divorce.
Civilian attorneys who specialize in family law know their state’s laws.
Sometimes, couples (both military and civilian) that are going through a rough patch in their marriage choose to separate before pursuing a divorce.
They may want time to see how they do living apart or to seek counseling to save their marriage. If they can’t afford to live apart, they may act as though they are separated while living in the same home - as roommates without cohabitation (sexual relations).
Check out our section devoted to Military Divorce for lots of helpful information.