If you’re an active member of the United States Armed Forces, and your spouse has recently served you with divorce papers, then you should know that you have additional rights that civilians do not when they’re faced with the same situation. You are covered by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
The SCRA is a federal law that aims to protect active duty military members’ legal rights. It can be invoked by soldiers if their armed forces’ obligations keep them from responding to the divorce petition that is served on them within the standard, allowable response time frame.
A service member protected by the SCRA is permitted to petition a civilian family court judge for a “stay” in their case if they can’t attend a scheduled hearing in their case as well.
If the SCRA weren’t in place, many soldiers who are away at training or stationed overseas would end up with default judgments being entered in on their behalf for them failing to respond to their ex’s divorce or any other family law petition. Many service members would lose their chance to have a say in court if the SCRA wasn’t in place. They would also miss critical hearings in their cases.
There are additional protections in place which allow your ex to lay claim to your pension if the two of you have been married a certain amount of years. This is one of the many reasons that you should be involved in the divorce process as opposed to just letting it play out on its own.
You should consult with a military divorce attorney here in Hamilton if you’ve been served with divorce papers. Your lawyer can advise you of the next steps that you should take in your Ohio divorce case to ensure the best outcome for you and your family.