Be ready for complexities of divorce
Capt. David Retland

CAMP CASEY -- For Soldiers stationed in Korea with spouses back home, divorce can not only be a very emotional process, but a very complicated one as well. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of the divorce process.

Each state has its own divorce law that will govern divorce in that state. It is best to see a legal assistance attorney before starting a divorce.

The first step in filing for a divorce is determining where you can file. A state must have jurisdiction over your marriage before it can issue a divorce decree. Just because you were married in a particular state does not mean that that state has jurisdiction over your marriage.

Most states have residency requirements that prohibit you from filing if you do not meet certain requirements.

Upon filing, you must be able to show that you meet the requirements for that state. Each state is different, but for the most part, your residency is the place you call home, pay taxes, own property, have family, intend on returning, etc.

For Soldiers stationed in Korea, the easiest place to file for divorce may be the state where your spouse is located or a resident of.

The next step is to begin your divorce.

It is not automatic that a court will grant your request for a divorce. Each state has specific reasons and requirements for divorce. For example, some states require that you and your spouse attend mediation or live separate from one another for at least 18 months before filing for a divorce. In each case, you must be able to prove to the judge that the divorce should be granted.

In filing for a divorce, you must file forms with the court. Some states have forms online for you to print out and file. For Soldiers unable to file the forms in person, mailing the forms to the court or having someone file for you, via power of attorney, may be an option, depending on the court. It is best to contact the clerk of the court beforehand and figure this out.

During the divorce process the major issues are usually child custody, child support, property division and spousal support.

A judge will take into account just about everything to determine what is in the best interests of the parties involved. Long story short, each state is different.

It is usually best for you and your spouse to try to agree on as much as possible before appearing in court. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement, a judge is more likely to enforce that agreement.

If an agreement is reached between you and your spouse, you both can know what to expect. However, the judge is not required to accept the agreement. Some states do not permit spouses to agree to child custody or support if it is not in the best interests of the child. It is always best to speak with an attorney for more specific information about your state.

Although the divorce process can be complicated, legal assistance attorneys are available to help you navigate through the process. The attorneys may not represent you in court or file the divorce for you, but they can serve as a great tool for getting the process started and answering some of the questions you may have.

Page last updated Wed April 9th, 2014 at 00:47