Military life typically requires service members and their families to move frequently. This reality means that a person who wants to file for divorce might not have a straightforward choice about where to file the divorce legal documents. Military service members and their spouses have the option to choose where they file. A couple might have grown up in one state, been married in a different state and lived in one or more states before ending a marriage. Property, bank accounts and driver’s licenses could be spread across multiple states, including Alabama. These issues and differences in divorce laws among states could influence the choice of where to file.

According to the author of a military divorce guide, people must choose a state where they resided at some point. Beyond that, the filing location does not have to be where the marriage occurred or a person’s home of record. The splitting spouses do not need to establish residency where they choose to file as long as neither party objects to the choice of jurisdiction.

Among the states, divorce laws vary in regards to issues like mandatory waiting times before a divorce can be finalized or whether or not a fault option is allowed for divorce. All states allow for no-fault divorce, but some grant a person the ability to divorce for a specific reason and assign fault to the other party. This issue could affect the division of property and spousal support.

A consultation with a lawyer familiar with military divorce might enable a person to choose where to initiate the divorce. After that, legal representation might protect a person’s right to property and a share of a pension. A lawyer may manage negotiations with the other party or litigate the divorce when a dispute cannot be resolved privately.