Married couples made up of one or two military servicemembers face the same challenges as civilians. But they also face unique circumstances due to the risk of deployment and frequent travel.
Every year, tens of thousands of military couples get divorced, leading to legal disputes related to the division of assets, child custody and support, and alimony.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides legal protection to military personnel who are on active duty from legal actions that can include divorce and other civil disputes.
How the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Protects Military Personnel
The SCRA was passed in response to cases involving military personnel whose ex-spouses were changing child custody agreements while they were deployed.
The SCRA protects marines, soldiers, sailors, commissioned offers, and others from facing legal actions while serving in the military. Individuals who are no longer active can still receive protection under the SCRA for a period of one year after active duty.
Civil issues covered by the SCRA include financial disputes, such as foreclosures and bankruptcy, as well as divorce and other family law issues.
Protections Under the Service members Civil Relief Act
The protections provided under the SCRA allow military service personnel to fulfill their duties without worrying about legal disputes they may be facing back home.
They can have peace of mind in knowing that their personal and financial interests are protected while ensuring that family members are protected as well.
In addition to servicemembers, the SCRA protects their dependents, which include children, spouses, and any other individuals who they’ve supported for 180 days prior to obtaining SCRA protection.
The SCRA applies to civil cases only and cannot protect servicemembers from criminal charges. Civil cases consist of legal actions that involve landlords, creditors, and family disputes.
Cases involving power of attorney, life or health insurance, contracts, and mortgages can also fall under the protection provided by the SCRA.
How Family Law Attorneys Can Help Military Servicemembers
Working with an attorney who understands family law and the needs of military personnel is the first step to protecting your rights and the wellbeing of your family.
In a divorce case, the SCRA ensures that default judgments are paused (stayed) to allow the military servicemember to return from active duty.
Some cases may require the military servicemember to request a stay if the judgment hasn’t automatically been put in place. An attorney can help you determine the best strategy for protecting your rights in a Georgia court of law.
A divorce proceeding may be stayed until the servicemember can address the issue. This does not prevent a spouse from initiating a divorce, but it does allow the hearings to be postponed.
This gives servicemembers an opportunity to prepare for civil litigation. They can consult with an attorney and get the resources they need.
If you’re a military servicemember facing a civil legal action related to divorce, child custody, child support, or alimony, an attorney can help you get the protection you need while on active duty and when you’re ready to move forward in a Georgia court of law.
An attorney who understands the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, as well as the unique needs and challenges that military couples can face, is the best resource for securing the wellbeing of you and your family.