Military Divorce Laws in Arizona.

How to File for Divorce and Military Divorce in Arizona

If you’re looking to file for divorce or obtain a military divorce in Arizona, you’ll need to follow the jurisdiction of the filing state. This means that all issues related to your military divorce will be handled by the court in that state.

In Arizona, you must be “domiciled” in the state for at least 90 days before filing for a divorce–but there are some exceptions. If your spouse has been stationed here for 90 days or more, you have the option to file your divorce petition here and avoid the domicile requirement.

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How Do I Serve the Divorce Papers on my Spouse in the Military?

If you are a military spouse who is looking to file for divorce, it is important to be aware of the process and procedures involved. In order to serve the divorce papers on your military spouse, personal service is required.

This means that you will need to hire a process server to hand-deliver the documents to your spouse. It can often be difficult to locate and serve military spouses, so it is important to take extra care in this process. Oftentimes, the commanding officer will help you serve divorce papers on your military spouse.

In order to serve the papers in another country, you will need to file the summons and complaint with the central office of the Hague Convention.

This office will help you coordinate with authorities in other countries in order for service of process to be completed. As always, it is advisable seek out the assistance of a qualified divorce attorney who can guide you through this complicated process.


The USFSPA Act know as the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act is a federal law that governs the division of military retirement benefits in the event of a divorce. The act allows state courts to divide military retirement assets pursuant to the state’s divorce laws.

This can be a difficult process, as it can be complicated to calculate how much of a person’s retirement is earned from service prior to marriage and how much is earned during the marriage.

The USFSPA Act discusses how to divide retirement benefits between spouses in the event of a divorce. It’s important to note that the act is further complicated by what part of the benefits are converted to disability, which can affect negotiating with your spouse about the division of military retirement benefits.

In order to ensure that there are no misunderstandings down the road, it’s important to include time frames in the final divorce order as to when the retiree will apply for benefits. This will help avoid any potential disputes down the line.

Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act

The Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (formerly known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act) protects personnel of certain Federal Government services. The law applies to the following services: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and commissioned officers in NOAA.

The Servicemember’s Relief Act provides protection from lawsuits for those who have been in active service of the United States.

There are different forms of stays that are permitted while a person is in active duty and this law allows them to request one. The stay is granted due to the fact that duties may materially affect their ability to participate in legal proceedings.

SCRA is meant to only be temporary. There must be a negative effect as the result of service in order to qualify for an automatic stay under SCRA.

What is the 10/10 Rule in Arizona Military Divorce Laws?

The 10/10 Rule of Military Divorce Laws in Arizona.

The 10/10 Rule in Arizona military divorce laws looks at the date of separation as the end date of a marriage. The time from the date of marriage to the divorce is how long your marriage lasts when calculating benefits and dividing assets under this law.

This means that if you have been married for less than 10 years, and are not eligible under the 10/10 Rule, you should receive your retirement payments according to how long you were actually married.

What to Do If You Don’t Qualify Under the 10/10 Rule

If you don’t meet the requirements of the 10/10 Rule, you can take one of two actions: have your spouse deliver payments or set up automatic transfers.

The first option might be more difficult because it puts the onus on your spouse to comply with the agreement.

On the other hand, setting up automatic transfers is a good way to ensure that payments are made on time and in full.

Whatever route you decide to take, be sure to consult an attorney beforehand for advice on how best to enforce the 10/10 Rule. This will help avoid any potential conflict down the road. .

How Does Child Custody Work in Arizona Military Divorce Laws?

When parents get divorced, they often have to deal with child custody arrangements. This is especially true if one or both of the parents are in the military. In Arizona, there are a few things that divorcing military couples should know about Arizona child custody law.

First and foremost, parents in Arizona can enter into a parenting agreement and keep as much control as possible in the hands of parents. This is good news for military service members who may be deployed frequently or have to move around often. However, if a parenting agreement cannot be reached, then the court will make a determination based on state law.

Military spouses may not have regular visitation, which can offset the parenting plan and increase the non-military spouse’s share of the child care burden. Child custody determinations are determined by state law, so it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to understand what your rights and obligations are under Arizona law.

Dividing Military Retirement Pay as Community Property

When a couple divorces, their assets and debts must be divided equitably. This includes military retirement pay. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) provides a framework for how this should happen.

Under USFSPA, states are allowed to treat military retirement pay as marital property. This means that the state can divide it between the former spouses. In Arizona, all community property is divided equally in a divorce case. Any portion of military retirement pay earned during the marriage is community property. Any portion of military retirement pay earned before marriage is considered to be that spouse’s separate property and not divided between the spouses.

There are two ways to divide military retirement pay as community property: by fixed amount or as a percentage of the total payment. If the former spouse is awarded a fixed amount, then they will receive that same amount each month no matter what happens with the retired service member’s income or expenses.

If the award is expressed as a percentage, then the former spouse will receive a percentage of the retiree’s monthly income based on how long they were married and how long they served in the military.

What Part of the Service Retirement is Divisible?

Military Divorce Laws on Dividing Military Retirement Benefits in Arizona.

Military retirement pay is a form of income that is subject to division during a divorce. The disposable retired pay is the amount that is left over after specific items are removed from the pension.

This includes advanced pay, court-martial fines, disability pay and survivor benefit plan deductions. The service member will also receive a deduction for debts owed to the US such as advanced pay.

The fact that a service member can exchange retirement pays for disability pay is a source of complication. Disability pay cannot be divided as part of a divorce, with the exception of disability compensation received from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Service members who exchange retirement pay for disability pay after a divorce may receive less than what they thought at the time their divorce was finalized by a judge

Federal Disability Benefits Are Excluded

In the state of Arizona, military divorce laws state that federal disability benefits awarded to veterans for service-connected disabilities are excluded from being considered in a divorce.

This means that the veteran’s spouse or former spouse cannot be awarded any other income or property in exchange for the benefits. In addition, coverage of disabled individuals should be based on “substantial limitations” and not just a simple physical or mental impairment.

Alimony And Child Support In Arizona Military Divorce

When a couple decides to get divorced while one or both are still in the military, there are some unique aspects to consider. The good news is that Arizona follows the same guidelines for alimony and child support as it does for civilian divorces.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with support orders and payments. For starters, alimony cannot exceed 50 percent of the paying spouse’s pay and allowances. This applies no matter which state you live in or file your divorce papers in.

Another thing to be aware of is that the commanding officer of either spouse’s military unit has a legal obligation to enforce family support orders. So if one party fails to make their court-ordered payments, action can be taken by the unit commander.

Without Court-Ordered Support, Can I Enforce Support Obligations on My Military Spouse?

If you are a military spouse who is not receiving the support payments that have been ordered by the court, you may be wondering what your options are. The good news is that you do have some recourse available to you.

You can send a written complaint to the commander of your spouse’s unit, asking for enforcement of the support obligations. The commander has the authority to reprimand, forfeit pay, or criminally sanction your spouse if they are not meeting their payment obligations.

However, it is important to note that the commander cannot enforce spousal maintenance or child support arrearages after the divorce if there is no court order in place. So if you are owed money on either of those fronts, it is essential to get a court order as soon as possible.

If you have questions about military divorce laws in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in divorce and family law cases.

Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.

Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your divorce or family law case around today.

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