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Military Divorce

At The Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, LLC, Our Experienced Montgomery County Military Divorce Attorney Helps You Navigate The Many Complicated Concerns of a Military Divorce in Maryland.

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Navigating the Complexities with a Knowledgeable Military Divorce Attorney in Maryland

Divorce can be particularly challenging for military members due to the unique legal issues that arise from federal and state laws governing military divorces. At the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, we focus on handling divorces and other legal matters for military families in Maryland. If you or your spouse are on active duty, an experienced military divorce attorney at our firm can provide the knowledge and guidance you need throughout the military divorce process.

Filing for Military Divorce and Serving Spouses on Active Duty

To file for divorce in Maryland, the law stipulates that at least one member of the military couple must reside in or be stationed in the state. If you are seeking a divorce from your active duty military spouse, you must personally deliver a copy of the divorce petition and a summons to them. However, if your military spouse agrees to the divorce and files a waiver, formal service of the papers is not required.

Laws Governing Military Divorce in Maryland

Delays in Divorce Proceedings

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), members of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves, are protected from being sued for divorce or other reasons while on active duty. Unlike civilians who typically have a limited amount of time to respond to divorce papers, a service member who receives divorce petitions during active duty has an extended period of 90 days after the end of their service to respond. This time frame gives the military spouse ample time to consult with a divorce lawyer. However, military members can choose to waive this right and proceed with the divorce while still on active duty.

Property Division and Military Divorce

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) safeguards certain military retirement benefits from being considered joint assets in a divorce. However, only marriages that lasted for a minimum of 10 years while the military spouse was on active duty are eligible for a portion of retirement benefits in the event of a divorce. It’s important to note that the USFSPA does not automatically grant a former spouse entitlement to a share of the service member’s retirement pay. A court must make the decision and include it in the final divorce decree.

What Maryland’s 2023 Changes in Divorce Laws and Options Mean for Your Military Divorce

As of October 1, 2023, significant changes to Maryland’s divorce laws have gone into effect, directly impacting active service members or veterans seeking a divorce.

A notable change is the elimination of limited divorce options, making absolute divorce the only type of divorce in Maryland. Once a judge grants a divorce, it is final and ends the marriage entirely, which could streamline the process for military members or veterans who decide to end their marriage.

The grounds for divorce have also been modified, shifting away from fault-based grounds and towards three no-fault grounds.

You must meet one of three no-fault grounds for an absolute divorce in Maryland:

  1. Irreconcilable differences
  2. Separation if the parties have lived separate and apart for six months
  3. Mutual consent

These changes aim to modernize the divorce process and could simplify the process for active duty service members or veterans. Specifically, the reduced waiting period for separation and the inclusion of irreconcilable differences as a ground for divorce could make seeking a divorce easier and quicker, particularly for service members deployed or stationed outside of Maryland.

However, as before, military divorces still involve unique complexities such as jurisdictional issues, division of military pensions, and SCRA protections. At The Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, we are familiar with military divorce laws and how they relate to Maryland’s new divorce law changes. We are a phone call away.

Contact Our Military Divorce Lawyer in Maryland Today

If you want to learn more about military divorce and the unique family law challenges faced by military families in Maryland to file for divorce, reach out to the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee today. Call us at (301) 279-0692(301) 279-0692 or contact us online for a confidential consultation. Our dedicated attorney is here to support you through this difficult process.

To ensure your convenience, we offer different options for our initial information-gathering session. You can choose to meet us in person at our boutique law office in Rockville, Maryland, or you can opt for a video conference via Zoom or a phone call. Our scheduling is flexible — including evening and weekend appointments — to suit your specific requirements. We aim to accommodate your schedule as we assist you.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, LLC

Ellen L. Lee has devoted over 35 years of unwavering commitment to aiding individuals and families in Montgomery County, Maryland with their family law needs. Grounded in counseling and psychology, she provides personalized guidance and assistance to her clients in an inviting atmosphere — prioritizing effective communication while forging new beginnings amidst family law disputes.

  • Tenacious & Compassionate Legal Support
  • Trusted Guidance that Exceeds Expectations
  • Full Range of Family Law Services
  • Flexible Consultation Times: Nights and Weekends are Available
  • Over 35 Years of Experience Practicing Family Law in Montgomery County, Maryland

Our Founding Attorney conveniently meets with clients via phone, video conference, or in person at our office in Rockville, Maryland.

Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Click to Call (301) 279-0692

Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Click to Call (301) 279-0692

Ask a Question, Describe Your Situation,
Request a Consultation

Fill out the form below or feel free to call us at (301) 279-0692(301) 279-0692

We are available for weekend and evening appointments.
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Law Offices of
Ellen L. Lee, LLC

We are available for weekend and evening appointments.