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How Does the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Impact Family Law Cases?

 Posted on July 13, 2023 in Family Law

Chicago Family Law Attorney

Members of the military often face special challenges when they are involved in a family law case like a divorce or child custody case. They may not be able to be present in court if they are deployed or stationed far away. The SCRA was developed to protect military members from the disadvantages they face in civil court actions. As the act applies in all civil cases, family law proceedings can be impacted by the rules it establishes. Military members may need to be accommodated by the court so that they can participate in any hearings held and be a part of the decision-making process. Without this act, the parent or spouse who does not serve in the military would have a substantial and unfair advantage. If you are in the military and are involved in a family law case in the state of Illinois, The Law Office of George J. Skuros can help ensure that you receive the full protections available under the act. 

How the SCRA Can Affect Your Divorce or Custody Case

If you are a service member on active duty, it is important to know about the legal protections afforded to you under the SCRA. Facts you should know about how this important piece of legislation include: 

  • Electronic attendance - In most cases, if you are deployed and cannot return to attend a hearing, you should be permitted to attend electronically. Most courts are now equipped with projectors and videoconferencing equipment. 

  • Deployment and child custody - Your parenting plan should include a military Family Care Plan determining who will care for your child should you be deployed. In some cases, you may be able to arrange for a third party such as one of your parents to take care of your child while you are gone. You may also be able to include a provision that allows you to make up time with your child you lost while deployed. 

  • Military family support requirements - Note that as a military member, you are required to support your family and could be court-martialed for failing to do so. It is best to keep up with supporting your child or you could be ordered to pay back support, which can be substantial. 

  • Timing - When one party in a family law case is protected by the SCRA, it is likely that your case will take longer. This is to ensure that you are able to adequately participate in the proceedings despite often being physically absent. 

If you are going through a family law case and are serving in the military, it is important to know what protections you have. 

Contact a Cook County Family Law Attorney

The Law Office of George J. Skuros is committed to helping military members use the protections afforded to them in the SCRA while they are going through family law proceedings. Our dedicated Chicago family law attorneys will do all we can to keep you involved in your proceedings. To begin with a free consultation, please contact us at 312-884-1222




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