Can I get a divorce during my military deployment? The answer to that question is under certain circumstances, you sure can. We’ve represented hundreds and hundreds of military members on active duty who are deployed to different locations all over the world. The first thing that needs to be established is a line of communication with those clients, usually by email. As long as clients can maintain an established communication with us, then we can keep clients advised regarding their process and their case, and have a good communication going as to what needs to be done to conclude a case. In order to finalize a divorce, when a military member is on a deployment, the kind of case that is involved in the family court is going to determine whether the court will allow the case to become final when a military member cannot be present. Many times, when I’m representing somebody in the military, I will file a motion with the court to ask that a military service member be permitted to appear by telephone for a court hearing, and that’s another way that even though you’re on deployment, your divorce case can be finalized.
Another way that a divorce case can be finalized when you’re on deployment is when both parties have lawyers and there’s children involved, the parties can enter into agreements even if you’re in a foreign land. You can get a copy of the separation agreement and parenting plan. Both lawyers can make sure their clients sign the separation agreement and the parenting plan, and a document called Affidavit of Nonappearance. When those documents get filed with the court with a decree of dissolution of marriage, and you have a full understanding of what the agreement says and what the court is going to do in adopting your agreements, then the court can issue a decree even though you are on a deployment.
There are some cases where it’s impossible for the court to enter a decree of dissolution of marriage when a soldier or an active duty military member is not available. Those circumstances usually come up during the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act which prohibit the other party from taking action before a judge when a military member is on overseas deployment duties and objects to action being taken that that military member cannot participate in. This is another example of why it should be in your best interest at every opportunity to have appropriate legal council representing you when you know you’re going to be deployed or you know that there are significant issues involved in your divorce case that’ll also affect your military career. I would advise you to always talk to, even by email or in a phone conference, a qualified lawyer. We offer free consultations for military members, and we offer a reduced retainer for all military members. I’m available to talk to you about your case or about your questions that you have as to how we can help you and represent you in your divorce case when you know that a deployment or other kinds of military commitments are coming up.