Military Divorce Laws in Arizona
Military law puts the complexity of the family law field. Additional rules apply if a couple is going through a divorce and one of the spouses is a member of the US Armed Forces. These additional rules can influence how the divorce process starts and continues, and what its outcomes will be. These are the state and federal laws that usually apply in Arizona military divorce.
Where To File Divorce (State Jurisdiction)?
It isn’t unusual for military couples to live in separate states. Where the divorce is filed is essential because that state will have jurisdiction on the case. The state’s laws will apply to the filing and any divorce issues like child custody, child support, and property division.
Arizona is a “community property” state, supporting the view that all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are owned by both spouses. This means the property is divided 50-50 upon divorce (the expectation to this is if there are specific circumstances that dictate otherwise). Not all states distribute property this way, so if you want to divorce your spouse, be sure to weigh carefully the rules of different states in which you may file your divorce.
You will also need to meet the residency requirements of any state before you can file your divorce petition there. In Arizona, there is the domicile requirement, which means that one of the spouses must have “domiciled” in Arizona for at least 90 days. Either of the spouses should take legitimate action indicating that their primary residence is in Arizona. The best example is the registration to vote in the state of Arizona or an Arizona driver’s license.
If you don’t live in Arizona, but the spouse is stationed there, then the servicemember’s presence in the state for 90 days is a satisfy jurisdiction. In that case, you have the option to file your divorce in this state.
Responsibilities Of The Petitioner
A military divorce cannot proceed unless the other spouse has properly completed the divorce notice and summons. If you are the divorce petitioner, you will have to anticipate unique challenges in completing an active-duty military spouse. They may be deployed in a warzone or stationed in a foreign country, for example.
Arizona gives you 120 days to successfully complete your divorce papers, starting from your filing date. If you passed this period, your petition will be dismissed and you will have to start the process from the beginning.
If you have correctly completed the papers but your spouse did not respond, it is your responsibility as the petitioner to prove to the court whether or not your spouse is in active military service. This is required because the court gives more time for servicemembers who are on active duty.
If the spouse who is an active-duty servicemember just been served divorce papers, they don’t have to worry about coming home immediately to deal with the case. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) gives you specific protections from unfair divorce procedures while you are on active duty.