Active Duty Military Divorces in CO and MN – What You Need to Know

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active-duty military divorces

Navigating the complexities of divorce can be challenging for any couple. However, there are unique regulations and statutes to consider for those in the military. Whether you’re stationed in Colorado or Minnesota, understanding your rights and responsibilities regarding active-duty military divorces is essential.

At Perusse Family Law, we recognize that while the foundational process and documentation for CO and MN divorces might mirror civilian protocols, active-duty military personnel grapple with additional nuances, particularly concerning the court’s jurisdiction. Trusting experienced legal guidance can be instrumental in navigating these intricacies.

Colorado (CO) – Active Duty Military Divorces

In Colorado, before initiating a divorce, one spouse must have resided in the state for at least 91 days. Where a person “resides” while stationed is a question not always easily determined with traveling servicemembers. One spouse could be in a separate state from the deployed servicemember. The deployed servicemember may or may not consider Colorado to be their domicile even though they have lived in Colorado for more than 91 days.

If a divorce is initiated, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) ensures that active-duty members can have legal proceedings “stayed” or put on hold while deployed.

In Colorado, a military retirement account is divisible as a marital asset, just like a civilian pension is during a divorce. However, the calculation of the marital portion is determined by a different formula than a traditional civilian pension. Their division is governed by The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) and 10 U.S. Code § 1408(a)(4)(B). Moreover, child custody and support and alimony in military divorces align with standard Colorado guidelines but with some exceptions due to military allowances and deployments.

As for benefits, non-military ex-spouses might retain rights like TRICARE health coverage and base privileges if specific conditions, like the 20/20/20 rule, are met. Due to the uniqueness of military service, drafting parenting plans, especially during deployments, is crucial.

Minnesota (MN) – Active Duty Military Divorces

While military service can bring unique challenges to families, divorces involving servicemembers in Minnesota also have distinct facets. Initially, it’s important to understand military divorces in Minnesota largely parallel civilian ones, from grounds for divorce to prioritizing the child’s best interests in custody issues.

However, key distinctions do exist. Most notably, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is pivotal. Under the SCRA, any ongoing divorce process may be halted if a military member is on active deployment, ensuring proceedings only resume once the deployment concludes.

Regarding residency for a divorce filing in Minnesota, one of the parties must have resided in this state or has been a member of the armed services stationed in this state for not less than 180 days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding; (MN Stat.518.07 (1)). This could, in some cases, result in a divorce proceeding against an out-of-state spouse if the couple no longer agrees on where their “residence” is.

An especially intricate area is the division of military benefits. Such divisions become particularly complex with assets like military pensions, governed by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) and 10 U.S. Code § 1408(a)(4)(B).

It’s imperative for military members to seek proficient legal guidance to navigate these complexities, ensuring their assets, including military benefits, is properly evaluated and protected.

Handle Your CO or MN Active Duty Military Divorce with Ease with Perusse Family Law

Active-duty military divorces come with a set of complexities. If you’re going through this process in Colorado or Minnesota, aligning yourself with legal experts familiar with state statutes and military regulations is paramount.

At Perusse Family Law, Cindy has nearly 30 years of experience handling intricate family law matters. With active licenses in both states, she ensures her clients receive the best possible guidance and support. Contact Perusse Family Law today and let Cindy help you through this time.

It’s imperative for military members to seek proficient legal guidance to navigate these complexities, ensuring their assets, including military benefits, is properly evaluated and protected.

active-duty military divorces