When it comes to a divorce, members of the military may have some special circumstances. If you are on active duty, you may worry about what will happen with your divorce when you are not in town or unable to attend hearings.
Luckily, the American Bar Association explains, there is a law that offers you protection called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
As a member of the armed services, you are offering up your life for your country. Because of this, you get special consideration in certain situations. It is obvious that you may not be able to report to court for hearings in a divorce, so the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act comes in to help.
This act covers all civil legal matters, which does include divorce. It provides you protection from having decisions made when you are not present due to being on active duty. It allows the court to delay hearings and put cases on hold in custody matters. It also ensures that you have the right to plead your case and be present in such legal matters.
You should note that while the act does help assist you by delaying court matters and giving you a chance to appear for important hearings, it does not absolve you of your obligations. You cannot use the act to delay paying child support or to get out of support obligations. The military considers nonpayment of child support a crime.
Keep in mind that while divorce is a state law matter, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is a federal measure that applies in all states. The state may offer you additional protections, so always check state law as well.