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What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?

As a member of the military in San Antonio, you are likely well aware of the challenges that fulfilling your service obligations can present to both you and your family. One such challenge can be the potential for strain on your relationship with your significant other. If he or she allows such strain to prompt him or her to seek a divorce, your duties could make responding to such a petition in a timely matter difficult, especially if you are on active duty. Fortunately, the law does account for your service and offer you some added freedoms in such a scenario.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act helps protect you from not being represented in any form of civil action due to your military service. According to the United States Code, the SCRA defines “military service” as:

  •               Active duty in any of the major branches of the U.S. military
  •               Working as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  •               Any time spent away from duty due to leave, sickness, wounds or any other lawful cause

Should any civil judicial proceedings involving you be initiated while you are in the course of completing your military service, the SCRA allows you to petition for a 90-day stay of proceedings. If you need additional time, you can seek subsequent stays on top of that. To consider a stay, the court must be believe that an appropriate defense to an action cannot be presented with your presence.

To seek a stay in your divorce case, you must submit an application prior to the rendering of the final judgment in your case. That application must include letters from both you and your commanding officer verifying that the obligations of your military service prevent you from appearing.

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