Getting Divorced While at SAFB with an Out-of-State Spouse

June 17, 2024

Getting Divorced While at SAFB with an Out-of-State Spouse: What You Need to Know

If you’re a military member stationed at Scott Air Force Base (SAFB) and considering a divorce from an out-of-state spouse, the process has its own unique challenges. These are challenges that I have helped clients with in my 20+ years of practice. One of the questions I am asked a lot is whether getting divorced while at SAFB with an out-of-state-spouse is possible. The answer, famously is, it depends, but possibly.

Illinois Residency and Military Service Impacts Getting Divorced While at SAFB with an Out-of-State Spouse

Illinois law makes it easier for SAFB service members to file for divorce. Your military service counts as establishing residency in the state, even if your spouse lives elsewhere. You’re typically eligible to file if you’ve been stationed at SAFB for at least 90 days.

Alternatively, if Illinois was your home before you entered the military, and you still consider it home, you can get divorced, unless your children live elsewhere.

Illinois only requires one spouse to live in Illinois, unless there are children involved.

What About Children and Jurisdiction?

If children are involved, their residency and the question of jurisdiction (which state handles your divorce) get more complex. Illinois courts can handle your divorce if:

  • You and your children have lived in Illinois for at least 6 months.


  • Your children lived in Illinois for 6 months and are only temporarily elsewhere.


  • There’s significant evidence about your children’s well-being present in Illinois.

Jurisdiction matters, as laws regarding support, property division, and especially parenting issues, such as custody, can differ between states. So it may be possible for you to get divorced while at SAFB with an out-of-state spouse, but sometimes, it makes more sense to get divorced elsewhere.

Military-Specific Factors: The SCRA and More


  • SCRA Protections: The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) can help you delay divorce proceedings if your military duties make participation difficult. It also protects your Illinois residency rights.


  • Deployments: Let your attorney know if a deployment is likely for you or your spouse, as this will impact the divorce timeline.


  • Parenting Plans: Military moves and deployments require special parenting plan considerations. I have extensive experience helping military families navigate these complexities.


  • Your Well-being: Take care of your emotional health during this difficult time. Seek out resources and support groups on or off base.

Flat Fee Divorce Solutions: Your Affordable, Military-Focused Help

I’ve helped countless service members through the divorce process over the past 20 years. I understand the unique challenges you face, and I’m here to help you achieve a smooth, cost-effective uncontested divorce. I hope I can answer yes, getting divorced while at SAFB with an out-of-state spouse is possible.

Contact my office to see if I can help you smoothly navigate your divorce.


Important Note: This blog post is for general information only and should not be taken as legal advice. Always consult with a qualified divorce attorney with military law experience when navigating your specific situation.