Military Divorce Jurisdiction and Residency

Every divorce is complicated. And whether contested or uncontested, they are still emotional and stressful. Divorce involves a wide range of issues, all of which must be addressed simultaneously: child support, custody and visitation, asset and debt division, spousal maintenance, pension and retirement division.

When a divorce involves a member of the U.S. military, additional issues arise that add unique challenges to these already complex family law cases. While the goals in military divorce are the same as those of civilians, there are very different circumstances that come into play.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction in Military Family Law Matters

Our Arizona Superior Courts have original subject matter jurisdiction over divorce, legal separation, child custody and support, and annulments. Arizona Constitution, Article VI § 14. When a spouse files the petition for divorce, one of the parties, and it doesn’t matter which party, must have been domiciled in Arizona for 90 days or more before commencement of the action. A.R.S. § 25-312. Domicile generally means the person is a permanent resident. But if one party is in the military and stationed in Arizona, at Luke Air Force Base for example, then military presence within the state for 90 days is sufficient.

Arizona Military Bases:

  • Luke Air Force Base, Glendale, AZ
  • Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, AZ
  • Fort Hauchuca, Sierra Vista, AZ
  • Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma County, AZ