Comparable to a typical civilian divorce, an Arizona military divorce involves several different and unique issues since state and federal laws and rules apply.
These laws are in place to protect the rights of military personnel and civil laws, combining Arizona divorce laws and military laws.
Military Divorce Protection
In Arizona, there are laws that protect active duty members from being held in default if they fail to respond to a divorce action. This prevents the personnel from being divorced without their knowledge, especially if they are not in the country and serving in a war.
Serving an Active Military Spouse
An active duty spouse must be personally served with a divorce summons and a copy of the divorce action. If this does not happen, the Arizona court cannot have jurisdiction over the active military member. If the case is uncontested, the active duty spouse may not have to be personally served as long as they sign a waiver acknowledging the divorce action.
In order to file for a military divorce, the military spouse or their spouse must reside in Arizona, or either of you must be stationed in Arizona. The grounds for military divorce are the same as civilian divorce.
Division of property in a military divorce follows the same laws along with normal Arizona property division laws. Under these laws, the federal government has enacted the Uniformed Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act (USFSPA) that governs how military retirement benefits are divided and calculated in the event of divorce. This act governs the direct payments of a portion of the portion that military retirees will pay to their former spouse. Federal law will not divide the retirement funds unless the marriage lasted 10 years or longer while one of the parties was active duty military.
In the state of Arizona, child and spousal support cannot exceed 60 percent of a military member’s pay and allowances. Amount of child support to be paid is determined by regular Arizona child support guidelines.
If you are an active military member or your spouse is active military and you are seeking a divorce, contact the Surprise divorce lawyers at The Sampair Group.