If you, your spouse, or both are in the military and have decided to get divorced, you should use the services of military divorce attorneys. The reason is that a military divorce can be a very complicated legal matter that requires the knowledge of this type of attorney. Although this type of divorce will follow the same procedures as a regular civil divorce, there are some complexities that are different. These include military and retirement benefits, living arrangements that must be dealt with separately, and service of divorce papers. Because civilian divorce attorneys do not understand the military laws surrounding a military divorce, that is why you would need such an attorney.
The military uses the same legal system as civil divorce proceedings, so there are no military judges or military divorce courts. There is a rule that is different in military divorces than it is in civilian divorces. In most jurisdictions in the United States, service of divorce papers must be done in person and within a certain period of time, but it is different with a military divorce. There are laws that will protect the member of the armed forces if there is an unusual delay in the procedure because they cannot receive the documents or attend the procedure due to active duty.
To become such an attorney, you must know the details of all applicable federal and state laws that could apply to any divorce. State laws govern most divorces, but with military divorces this is not entirely true. With regard to pensions, child custody, military benefits, retirement, and child support or alimony, there are some federal laws that will take precedence over state laws. In rare cases, there are some parts of the hearing that may need to be heard by federal judges. If one or both partners involved in the divorce are stationed abroad, additional problems could arise.
For military lawyers it is not necessary to be a member of any branch of the armed forces. They are attorneys who specialize in divorce, specifically military divorce. To become a military lawyer, you must have a bachelor’s degree, a Juris Doctorate (JD) from an accredited law school, and pass the Bar exam. You will also need experience working as a divorce attorney or have a job with a law firm that specializes in divorce. The last thing you need is an understanding of all the issues surrounding a military divorce.
To be admitted to a good law school, you must have had a high grade point average throughout your undergraduate program and pass the entrance exam.