Military Divorce Lawyer | Salt Lake City, UT

Compared to civilian divorces, military divorces in Utah have several unique issues that a divorcing couple must face. Since the specific federal and state laws apply to military divorces, it is wise to consult with an experienced military divorce attorney. At Read & Read, we have a proven track record of successfully representing clients going through military divorce karma, guiding them through the proceedings with minimal stress. Contact our Salt Lake City family law firm today to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and more and more about how we can represent your best interests.


The Military Divorce Process

Generally, the process you will need to follow in a military divorce is similar to that of a civilian divorce. You will begin the process by filing a petition in your county of residence. You or your spouse will need to either live in Utah or be stationed in Utah to file for divorce in Utah. The spouse on active duty needs to be personally served with the summons and a copy of the divorce petition for a Utah court to have jurisdiction over the active duty service member. If the divorce is uncontested, the active duty spouse may not need to be served, provided they sign and file a waiver affidavit acknowledging the divorce action.


How is the Military Divorce Process Unique?

In Utah, divorces are governed by Utah state law. In a military divorce, the service member and his or her spouse have specific rights and obligations that civilians do not have. For example, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Federal protected military service members from fulfilling certain obligations while on active duty. Should a service member fail to respond to a divorce petition, the law will protect him or her from being held in default. As a result, divorce actions need to be held off until the active duty service member returns home from their military obligation. 

When a service member or spouse files a petition for divorce in a Utah court, the court will have jurisdiction over the preceding. The court can choose to postpone the divorce proceedings for the entire time that the active service member is out of state on duty and for up to 60 days afterward. If the active duty service member wishes to proceed with the divorce, he or she can waive their right to postpone the divorce proceedings. There are also special federal rules about how a service member’s pension should be divided during a divorce. 


Where to File for a Military Divorce

Determining where to file a military divorce petition can be challenging. There are three different possibilities for determining where to file for a military divorce. The first option is the service member’s state of residence, which is his or her legal domicile and the place he or she intends to return when discharged from service or on retirement. 

The second option is the location where the service member is currently stationed. In Utah, the service number needs to be a permanent resident or domiciled in Utah for at least 90 days. Military presents for 90 days or more in Utah should satisfy jurisdiction. When the service member and spouse live in different states, they typically file where the civilian spouse lives. If you have questions about where to file for a military divorce, one of our experienced attorneys can help.


Child Custody in Military Divorces

Child custody arrangements are often one of the most challenging aspects of a military divorce. When the service member is deployed or will be deployed in the future, trying to agree on a child custody arrangement can be difficult. Typically full-time care of children will be transferred to the non-custodial parent when the custodial parent is deployed. In many cases, the spouse who is not a service number will have custody. When the service member returns from deployment, they may have shared wild custody or visitation. 

When the noncustodial parent is deployed, his or her parental rights and visitation may be transferred to a trusted family member. Working on a child custody arrangement acceptable to both spouses can be particularly challenging in a multilayer divorce. At Read & Read, our attorneys are familiar with all of the unique regulations and rules related to child custody in military divorce cases.


Child Support Attorneys 

When a military couple files for divorce in Utah, the court will use Utah civilian child support guidelines, schedules, and worksheets to determine how much child support a parent must pay. There are differences in military pay when a service member is deployed versus when here she is working on a base in Utah. Our divorce attorneys know how to account for these differences when calculating child support.


Dividing Military Pensions in a Divorce

Dividing military pensions is another complicated aspect involved in military divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) is a federal law that governs how military benefits should be determined and divided when a couple divorces. The amount of the marital share will be based on the accrual of retirement benefits during the couple’s marriage. Additionally, benefits from the service members’ Survivor Benefit Plan can also be shared with the former civilian spouse. Whether you are a service member or a spouse pursuing a share of the military pension, our attorneys understand how to calculate benefits under this law and protect your interests. 


Contact a Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney Today

At Read & Read, our Salt Lake City divorce attorneys understand all of the unique issues involved with military divorces in Utah. We will take the time to carefully listen to your needs and goals and develop a legal strategy going forward. We have a proven track record of successfully navigating this complex legal terrain. If you were considering a Utah military divorce, the sooner you discuss your case with an attorney, the better. Contact Read & Read today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney Reviews

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Liz S.

David Read and his office staff were wonderful to work with. They helped me and my father work through his divorce as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Staff was incredibly professional and answered every question with knowledge and accuracy. I would recommend the Law Office of David W. Read to anyone having to go through a divorce, or any other family law needs. 5-Star Review on Google.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Meet S.

I absolutely love this law office! They made the divorce process simple and easy. They were quick to respond to any questions I had and they took care of everything. They also made everything affordable. I highly recommend! 5-Star Review on Google

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