How to handle dating someone going through a divorce
Make sure your civilian divorce attorney has extensive experience with military-related family law, including a strong understanding of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) and the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA).
Although military personnel and their family members have access to free legal services provided by the Judge’s Advocate General’s Corps (military officers who are also lawyers), military lawyers are not usually familiar with state divorce laws.
People often confuse being separated with a legal separation.
You will have a lot of feelings regarding the divorce and it is important to speak with another adult or a counselor.
Similarly, if they have a “separation agreement,” it just shows that they are currently separated and have made some agreements to help spell out rights and responsibilities during this time period.
If the couple decides to legally separate or divorce later, they may be able to incorporate their separation agreement into a judgment of legal separation or divorce.
Every state has its own unique set of divorce laws that govern divorce actions filed therein, so consulting with a JAG attorney will be of little use to a military member going through a divorce.
Civilian attorneys who specialize in family law know their state’s laws.