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What Should Military Members Know About Residency Requirements for Divorce in NJ?

Divorce is always a complex process that involves several different considerations that must be made. However, when you or your spouse are in the United States military, the process looks much different. Generally, one of the main concerns military members have when getting a divorce is wondering where they should file. If you are a service member, familiarizing yourself with your residency requirements is critical. Additionally, you’ll discover why it’s in your best interest to connect with a Morris County divorce & separation law firm that can help you through these complex times.

What Are the Residency Requirments for Military Divorces in New Jersey?

Generally, to file for divorce in New Jersey, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for at least one year before filing for divorce. Because New Jersey still accepts fault grounds in divorce, this requirement can be waived in instances of adultery by one spouse.

However, military members are often an exception to this rule. Many military members are stationed in a location that differs from their home state and where their spouse resides. As such, they may not know which three of the locations they are eligible to file in. New Jersey, like most states, will waive the residency requirements for military members stationed in the state, allowing them to file their divorce through New Jersey.

This is ideal for those who want to take advantage of New Jersey’s divorce rules instead of those in their home state. For example, if you are stationed in New Jersey but a resident of California, you may want to file in New Jersey to take advantage of the equitable distribution method. Essentially, this allows divorcing couples to have their marital assets divided based on their contribution to the marriage instead of California’s community property method, which treats all marital assets as equal to both spouses during a divorce.

What Else Should Military Members Know About Divorce?

If you or your spouse are a member of the military, it’s also important to understand you are guaranteed additional protections. If you are a service member and served with divorce papers, you may assume you only have thirty days to respond to the petition to avoid an automatic judgment,  like you would if you were a civilian. However, the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act provides additional protections, as service members may be unable to respond within that timeframe due to their duties. This helps ensure they have the opportunity to represent themselves and prevent an unfair judgment against them.

When you are ready to file for divorce, the team at Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is ready to fight for you. We understand how complex these matters can be, which is why our firm will do everything possible to help you navigate these complex matters so you can focus on starting the next chapter of your life. Contact us today to discuss your circumstances in further detail.

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