In San Diego, we are truly proud of those who serve in our armed forces, and we are always very welcoming to the sailors and soldiers who return from their military deployments and come back to U.S. soil after fighting for our freedom.

Service members and their families make tremendous sacrifices – traveling, moving, and the non-military spouse serving as a single parent with the children, which is often a difficult and daunting life.

Sometimes, however, the sacrifice may become too much for the spouse, and the possibility of divorce is high. While the military divorce rate seems to be lower than in the general public, there is a lot of stress on military families that can’t always be overcome. In these cases, it is possible that families may break up while a military member is deployed in an active military zone.

When a military family is going through a divorce while one of the spouses is deployed, there are a number of challenges that are not experienced by civilian couples.

First, military spouses have questions about residency in which to file a divorce petition, when families are transferred every two to three years from state to state.  State of established residency is an important issue in a divorce, and the state of marriage can be irrelevant.

Second, there are several protections in place for military members that involve federal government rules and regulations supporting deployed military members. These additional protections can make divorce more difficult than what happens with only state laws serving jurisdiction.

Third, if a military member is actively deployed, a divorce will not be a quick and painless process, as the military member in deployment is not in the state and available for court hearings and testimony in divorce court. There will be continuances and delays until the service member returns to U.S. soil

Fourth, there is the mental and emotional stress of a divorce. When a service member is deployed and is dealing with a pending divorce, often the stress and emotional confusion of the divorce can impact an active service member in a similar way to a civilian. That military member needs to remain focused on the mission at hand, and having a family stress that potentially distracts that service member increases the risk of harm not just to the service member but to fellow service members with which he or she works.

If you are considering a military divorce, make sure to consult a quality San Diego divorce attorney who understands the military divorce process and can walk you through this very delicate process to ensure that the family is happy and the service member can continue to serve our country with honor and distinction.