When a divorce involves one or more members of the military, special considerations apply. There are laws and rules in place to help protect members of the military during the divorce process. If you are going through a military divorce in Minnesota, our attorneys can help you understand your rights and options.
Timing Of The Action
One of the biggest complications in a military divorce case is the timing of the action. When a spouse is on active military duty, he or she may not be able to respond to a divorce action immediately. An active military member cannot be held in “default” for not responding to a divorce action.
By federal law, and with the discretion of the Minnesota court system, any divorce proceeding that involves an active service member can be postponed for up to 60 days after the active duty is complete. However, the active duty member may waive this right, if he or she wishes to get divorced.
In the event of a contested divorce, Minnesota courts will only have jurisdiction over an active member of the military if the active duty spouse is personally served with the divorce action and a summons. If the divorce is uncontested, the active duty spouse may file a waiver that acknowledges the divorce action.
Special Financial Considerations
For the most part, our military divorce lawyers in Minnesota believe that property division in a military divorce follows the same procedure as in a civilian divorce. However, federal law specifically governs the calculation and division of military retirement benefits in a divorce case. In order for any military member’s retirement funds to be dispersed to the divorced spouse, the couple must have been married for at least ten years during the member’s active duty.
In Minnesota, there are restrictions regarding how much child support and alimony that a military member can pay. The total child support and alimony award cannot exceed 60% of the pay and allowances of the military member. Other than this restriction, all other child support guidelines are identical in a civilian divorce and a military divorce in Minnesota.