Whether you are in the military or are the nonmilitary spouse, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, will play a part in your divorce if you share children with your spouse. If you are the military spouse, the SCRA can be beneficial to you. However, if you are not, it can be problematic. Here is what you need to know.
What Is the SCRA?
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is a law that is allows for special treatment of members of the military when it comes to court proceedings. The SCRA is designed to protect service members in the courtroom so they can focus on their jobs. Unfortunately for nonmilitary spouses, this can lead to long delays in settling custodial matters.
How Does the SCRA Impact You?
If you are the nonmilitary spouse, you could be forced to deal with delays in court. The law provides extra time for service members to respond to petitions and arrange hearings for times more convenient to them. Depending on your spouse's current status, you could possibly end up waiting until he or she has finished a deployment to have your custodial matters resolved.
If you are the spouse in the military, you can prevent changes to custody that could impact your relationship with your children. For instance, a court cannot grant your nonmilitary spouse permanent custody of your children while you are away. The most the court can do is commit to a temporary custodial order.
It is important to note that the military spouse cannot use the SCRA to try and manipulate the custodial case to his or her advantage. If you suspect your spouse is deliberately hiding behind the law to delay court proceedings when a delay is not necessary, your attorney can file a motion with the court to push for proceedings to start.
For instance, if your spouse is claiming that he or she does not have any available time to take off and attend court, you can take action to find out how much leave is available. A Leave and Earning Statement, or LES, can be filed in your case. The statement would provide you with information on exactly how much leave time your spouse has. If your spouse has enough time available to attend court, your attorney could ask that a date for the hearing be set.
Even if you and your spouse are on good terms and have pledged to work together to resolve custodial matters, it is important to talk to an attorney. The attorney can provide you with invaluable advice that can help you overcome any possible roadblocks from the SCRA. For more information on divorce matters, contact a company like Nevada Legal Forms & Tax services.