When military couples in the Dayton area reach the end of a marriage, there are a number of unique issues that they will have to resolve. We’ve discussed a number of these previously on our Dayton family law blog. One seemingly simple question, however, may not be so simple: where should you divorce?
To answer this question, you’ll need to consider where you can claim to have residency. Clearly, not everyone stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will be an Ohio resident, but some will be. Residency is generally determined by factors like what state issued your driver’s license, to which state you pay taxes, in which state you vote; if you own property in a state, that can also be taken into consideration. In Ohio, you’ll typically need to have lived here for six months or more to file for a divorce in an Ohio court.
So what difference does it make in which state you file? Different states will have different laws regarding fault and the types of fault that a divorcing spouse can allege. Ohio is a no-fault divorce state, although it does allow some grounds for fault in certain situations. Other states will have different laws regarding fault. Therefore, if you want to allege fault in your divorce filing, and you can potentially claim residency in multiple states, you should make sure that you are filing in the court system of the state whose laws are most supportive of your claims and your situation.
While “where do I reside” and “where do I file for a divorce” may seem like simple questions on the surface, in the context of a military divorce, these are questions that can involve fairly technical aspects of different state laws. A legal professional can help ensure that you understand your options and that the filing takes place in a way that best suits your goals and your approach to the divorce.
Source: Findlaw.com, “Divorce in the Military,” accessed on Feb. 9, 2018