Divorce is hard. Whether an Ohio resident has been in a long-term marriage or recently married their spouse, coming to the decision to end one’s legal relationship with their spouse is a difficult and painful process. Aside from the emotional decisions that they will have to confront to ensure that they are protected as they transition into single lives they must also meet the technical legal requirements that their jurisdictions impose upon them for the completion of the divorce process.

One of the most important legal questions that a person must answer before starting the process is where they can file for divorce. This inquiry is important because residency and jurisdiction are gateway issues to pursuing divorce in the various courts of the nation. While civilians generally may pursue divorce in the courts of the locations where they live, service members and their spouses may have more options for where their legal matters may be handled.

For example, a military divorce generally may be filed in either of the states where either the spouse of the service member or the service member is a resident. A third option for filing for divorce when a service member is involved is filing in the state where the service member is stationed for active duty.

Different jurisdictions may impose different requirements upon those who hope to divorce in their courts. For this reason it is important that service members and their spouses discuss their filing options with family law attorneys who understand the nuances of military divorce law. Military divorces may be subject to laws that do not apply to civilians and it is important that service members and their spouses take active steps to protect their family law rights.