In 1940, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) was passed to protect soldiers on active duty. Since then, it has been amended several times and now bears the name Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
This act protects soldiers from civil litigation while they serve the country. Since active servicemembers may not be able to appear in court, this act delays litigation against them while they serve. This protection lasts for 60 days after their service ends. It also helps keep them focused on the job, freeing them from worry over a lawsuit.
The SCRA also delays divorce proceedings.
Divorce and Active Service
Life happens, even when you are serving your country. It is not unreasonable to assume that unhappy people may wish divorce, even when their spouses are on active duty. If you are on active duty, and you wish to contest your divorce, you can use the SCRA.
Matters of divorce, including child custody, can be delayed under the SCRA. You spouse cannot take any action against you while you are on active duty. You are also free of these concerns for 60 days after your service ends.
There are times, however, that urgent matters must be addressed. When this is the case, your spouse could file a court order authorizing leave and asking you to appear in court. One such case would be a paternity dispute, where there are questions about whether you are the father of a child. Another potential matter would be accusations of non-support. This is where your spouse claims that you are delinquent in your spousal support or child support. It could even include cases where you are still married, but are being accused of leaving the family destitute.
Waiving the SCRA
The SCRA is meant to protect servicemembers, not bind them. You always have the option to waive your SCRA rights and allow the divorce to proceed. This will always be the case in an uncontested divorce.
Talk to an Attorney
If you are facing a divorce while on active duty, speak to an attorney. They can help you review your options and advise you on your SCRA rights to delay the divorce. After reviewing your options, you may find that an uncontested divorce is the best choice. In that case, your lawyer could act as a mediator between you and your spouse. It may not be possible for the three of you to meet in the same room, but they could act as a liaison between the two of you. They can keep lines of communication open and help you negotiate the terms of your divorce while you serve.
If you are a military member facing divorce, please contact us today. We have the skill and experience to navigate the complex legal issues you face. Our number is (407) 315-2006, and you can reach us online.