If you or your spouse is a service member at Offutt Air Force Base and you are considering filing for divorce, the first question you must answer is where do I file? 

Every state has different divorce filing requirements, but all states require at least one spouse to be a “legal resident” of the state in which he or she wishes to file. Legal residency (also known as “domicile”) is defined as the state in which a person resides while also intending that state to remain his or her permanent home. This intent requirement becomes more complicated with military divorces, as spouses in a military marriage often move among many different states.

Although service members are presumed Nebraska legal residents after being stationed in Nebraska for one consecutive year, those seeking to file for divorce must still meet the intent-to-remain requirement. To determine whether a spouse intends to remain permanently in Nebraska, courts often look at that spouse’s:

– current residence

– voter registration

– voting practices

– real property

– personal property

– financial accounts

– personal and professional memberships

– religious practices

– employment or education

– owned businesses

– driver’s license

– preparation of a will

– automobile registration

– tax payments

For service members, however, courts look to the service member’s state of legal residence as declared to the United States Department of Defense. This is always the state to which the service member pays state income taxes and is often the state in which the service member entered service. Some service members execute a State of Legal Residence Certificate (DD Form 2058) to change their state of legal residence. 

Our legal team at Koenig|Dunne has represented many service members and spouses through the complexities of a military divorce, and we are here to help you navigate these difficult issues with experience and wholehearted support.

David Pontier

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