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Determining Jurisdiction in a Colorado Military Divorce

Monday, 16 November 2009
Jurisdiction is perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of a military divorce, but it is also the most important one to get right.  By taking into account the legal residences of the military member, their spouse and the state where the service member is stationed, a Colorado Springs military divorce lawyer can help ensure your case has established the proper jurisdiction for your case.


Why is jurisdiction so important to the courts? 

Since divorce laws are determined by each state, it could be advantageous to your case to closely examine the laws of each potential state before deciding where to file.  First, it is important to understand your options in a military divorce:

  • Service members do not need to change their legal residence when they move to a different state for military purposes.  In fact, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) allows a member of the military to live in one state while claiming residence in another. 
  • A military member’s spouse doesn’t have the same rights, however.  They are usually limited to the state where they currently reside, but must have also established residency in that state by living there for a specified period of time.
  • Because most states allow a military divorce to occur in the state where the military member is stationed, this can complicate the proceedings if a military relocation is required before the divorce is finalized. 

A Colorado Springs military divorce lawyer can help you make sense of jurisdiction, and determine whether it is in your best interest to file in Colorado.  Keep in mind that if you file for divorce in a state other than where you are currently living, you will be required to travel there for any appearances in court. 


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