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Most military personnel have probably heard of the SSCRA, or the Soldiers' & Sailors' Civil Relief Act, even if they are not familiar with all of its nuances. That 1940 statute has now been superseded - in December 2003, it was replaced with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA). The new act is more than just different terminology to ensure that airmen and Marines are not left out - it contains numerous updates and new protections for servicemembers which did not exist in the 1940 version of the act. Most of those changes, however, are not applicable to family law cases, but pertain to insurance, taxes, leases, etc.

From a Colorado divorce, legal separation or paternity perspective, the SCRA applies to all judicial proceedings, including post-decree matters, and to administrative agencies. Note that it does NOT protect servicemembers in criminal cases. It covers active duty servicemembers, including reservists and members of the national guard mobilized under Title 10, United States Code.

Under 50 U.S. Code App. §101, the SCRA protections apply to active duty servicemembers, reservists, and National Guardsmen who are called up by the President or Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days.

The Act's provisions pertaining to the legal residence of servicemembers and military spouses for purposes of voting and taxation may be relevant on the issue of whether a family law court has jurisdiction to hear the case. 

 

More Information

About.com. Site with information about other SCRA rights not covered here.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Overview, on Military.com. Excellent overview of all provisions of the SCRA, including those not mentioned here as they do not pertain to family law.

(SCRA) Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Lookup.  A DOD site to confirm whether an individual is on active duty.  Note that this is NOT a servicemember locator, and will not disclose any information about the servicemember other than his/her active duty status.

Have a military divorce case? Deployed? Black & Graham can help.

(719) 328-1616

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