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Servicemembers Civil Relief Act postpones civil proceedings

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

When a person in Texas enlists in the military, he or she often makes many sacrifices in the line of duty. In addition to the obvious risk of life and safety, a servicemember's obligations may place a strain on his or her family or jeopardize his or her financial situation. To protect the men and women who serve this country, Congress enacted the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

If you are an active duty member of any branch of the United States military, including activated reservists, the SCRA protects you from any proceedings that might negatively affect you while you are serving. For example, any actions involving bankruptcies, foreclosures or evictions may be delayed for a limited amount of time while you are on active duty. In addition, if you have a car lease or cell phone contract, you may also be able to terminate those agreements without penalty if you are activated or deployed.

The SCRA can also postpone any civil decisions such as a divorce or child custody proceedings if you are unable to attend hearings because you are on active duty. In other words, if you are deployed or otherwise activated to duty, your spouse cannot win custody of the children or finalize a divorce simply because you were not available for a court date. The postponement is not automatic, however; it must be requested of the court. Usually the law allows a delay of at least 90 days.

Matters involving military rights and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act can be complicated and often involve time limits. Having an attorney to answer your questions or help you request any postponements in a timely manner is a wise decision. At the Law Office of Douglas C. Smith, we are experienced in military issues and family law. Call our office in El Paso Texas anytime for a consultation.

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