Family Law

questions & answers

Question: My husband and I have been separated for 3 months and I have been live back in the reservation since. He lives and is stationed in Jacksonville, FL. We have a son together. My son and I are both registered members on the Navajo nation. Would I be able to file for divorce on the Navajo nation? I would like for my son and I to stay here, would I be able to take full custody since he is in the military?

Answer: Generally, the federal government and the military consider divorce a private matter, and divorce proceedings are normally filed under state law.  Because you and your son are enrolled members of the Navajo Nation, you should be able to file in Navajo Court once you have completed 90 days of residence on the reservation.  You do  not say if your military spouse is also Navajo.  Because your husband is active duty military, you cannot serve divorce papers on him by mail.  Personal service is required.  He may be able to move the case to state court.   Your husband's military service does not mean you automatically get sole custody of your son.  Custody is determined by the court on a case to case basis.  I cannot give  you legal advice.  I can merely explain the law and point you toward resources. There is an article that you may want to read to get more information. https://www.azlawhelp.org/articles_info.cfm?mc=9&sc=89&articleid=159.  This article provides useful information on divorcing in Navajo Court.  You may also want to visit the website for the Navajo Bar Association.  There you will find more information and a list of lawyers who may be able to give you legal advice.  Go to: https://www.navajolaw.info/.

QUESTIONS

  • My husband and I have been separated for 3 months and I have been live back in the reservation since. He lives and is stationed in Jacksonville, FL. We have a son together. My son and I are both registered members on the Navajo nation. Would I be able to file for divorce on the Navajo nation? I would like for my son and I to stay here, would I be able to take full custody since he is in the military?

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