Military Servicepersons are provided special protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) in a divorce proceeding. The SCRA applies to all states including Minnesota.
If a divorce (or child custody action for that matter) is commenced in Minnesota, the SCRA does allow a military member to ask for a stay in the divorce proceeding. A stay halts the legal process and postpones further movement of the matter through the Court system. This can happen at any stage of the proceeding so long as it is before the final judgment. The SCRA provides that the Court must postpone the matter for no less than ninety (90) days if certain conditions are met.
The SCRA also creates requirements that must be met before a Court can proceed with a default judgment. Default judgment occurs when one spouse is considered to have failed to participate in the proceeding. Before any spouse can receive a default judgment, they must file an affidavit stating that the other spouse is not currently in the military nor was at the commencement of the divorce. A sample affidavit published by Minnesota Courts can be found here.
If you or your spouse are a Military Serviceperson and have any questions regarding your rights in a divorce proceeding, please call me today at 651-647-0087 or reach out via our online contact form to set up your free consultation.