Annapolis Military Divorce Attorneys Explain the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

When you are serving our country, our Maryland family lawyers focus on serving you

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) of 2003 is a replacement of the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940. This bill was enacted in order to provide military personnel a 90 day stay from civil litigation when deployed. Servicemen and women should be fully focused on serving our country through their missions. The SCRA greatly affects the parameters of military divorces in all states, including Maryland.

The legal team at Peters & Clark, P.A. is well-versed in the SCRA and its implications for individuals in the military or soon to be former military spouses, particularly as it related to issues of divorce, relocation, child custody, and related family law issues.

SCRA protections

Through a variety of protections for servicemembers, the SCRA impacts foreclosure, repossession, and all parts of a military divorce, including:

  • Child support, visitation, and custody rights
  • Alimony or spousal support
  • Retirement benefits and pension
  • Post-divorce decree modifications
  • Other jurisdictional proceedings

If a service member is on active duty, or is in the first 90 days of termination of active duty, his or her case can be stayed for that 90 days. An alternative arrangement can also be made to allow the service member the best chance in his or her case. He or she must provide the Court with an explanation of the reasons active service prevents him or her from appearing or otherwise effectively participating. The servicemember’s commanding officer must also provide verification that he or she is not authorized to leave at the time of the case.

Limitations of SCRA

Although the SCRA offers servicemembers a stay in some family law situations, it does not offer total protection. Stays granted by the court are not indefinite, and may not even last for the duration of deployment. Child support payments are temporarily suspended through the SCRA, but they are not completely forgiven and will continue to accumulate.

If you are a serviceperson who is in the middle of a divorce and have any questions about the SCRA or its various protections, you will need to consult with an experienced Annapolis military divorce lawyer to learn your rights and responsibilities.

Consult an experienced Maryland military divorce attorney

The law firm of Peters & Clark, P.A., seeks to serve the armed forces and support our troops by assisting in their legal representation in civil litigation such as divorce. With decades of experience, the knowledgeable team of Annapolis military divorce attorneys can help you delay your divorce proceedings while you are on active duty, or help you to understand your child custody obligations. To reserve a consultation time, please call 410-921-2422 or fill out their contact form. The firm proudly serves clients in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County and the surrounding areas.