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Soldiers & Sailors Relief Act

Soldier's and Sailor's Civil Relief Act (SSCRA)

Serving Divorce Papers to Deloyed Service-Members

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act, or SSCRA, has origins that date back to 1918, and was legislated by Congress at the beginning of World War II as a reenactment of the original statute. Its purpose was to provide protection from certain legal matters to those serving in the armed forces.

The law received an update during the Gulf War in 1991 and in 2003 was later renamed the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Signed into law in December of 2003 by former President Bush, the SCRA clarified the language of the SSCRA and to reflect new developments made over the past several decades.

According to 50 U.S.C. App. § 502, the purpose of the act is to:

  • Allow service members to fully devote their energy to the nation’s defense needs
  • Create a temporary suspension of administrative and judicial transactions and proceedings that could negatively affect the rights of service members during their period of service

Because of the very nature of military occupations, this act allows service members and select others to benefit from some of the following protections:

  • Early termination of pre-service lease agreements without penalty
  • Postponements to evictions from leased housing
  • An interest rate cap of 6%
  • Postponement of court proceedings
  • Postponement of collections for installment contracts and auto leases
  • Tax relief
  • Rights to re-employment

Covered groups include:

  • Active-duty members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, and Coast Guard
  • National Guard members who are called to active duty for more than thirty consecutive days under to respond to a national emergency
  • Commissioned members of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the Public Health Service
  • Service members who are absent from duty due to sickness, injuries, leave, or any other legitimate cause
  • Service members of the National Guard and Reserve, from time they received orders to report for duty to the date that they report
  • The family of a service member (under certain sections of the act)
  • Other people who have benefitted from the support of the service member for 180 days or more immediately following a relief application (they qualify as dependents).

Do you have further questions on the SCRA or need help protecting your rights during a military divorce? Contact Owenby Law, P.A. for more information about the legal protections available to you: (904) 770-3141.

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