If I’m in the military and have orders to leave the country, what I should do about defending myself for in divorce proceedings?

UPDATED: May 28, 2012

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If I’m in the military and have orders to leave the country, what I should do about defending myself for in divorce proceedings?

My wife told me she wants a divorce a few days ago. Today she told me she wants me out of our house. She then informed me that when I leave the house she will change the locks and won’t let me in. She is hiding the car keys from me, telling me I can’t use the car at all. I am in the Army and leave to Japan in 2 weeks. I need to know what I can do about the house and car? I also need to know what I should do about leaving and not being in the U.S. during the divorce proceedings?

Asked on May 28, 2012 under Family Law, Texas


Michael Gainer / Michael J. Gainer, Attorney At Law

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, thank for your service to our country.  Second, I'm sorry you are going through this.

You should contact your base JAG or a divorce attorney in your state right away.  There are federal laws that protect service men and women from defending lawsuits while they are deployed, including divorce actions:  http://www.defense.gov/specials/relief_act_revision/    An attorney can protect your interests.  You will also need to provide for your spouse and child to avoid problems with your commander.  Talk to a JAG.

From a practical standpoint, you may want to get as much of your stuff out of the house and into storage to protect it.  You may also want to get you own bank account so you have control of the money,

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