Burr Introduces Bill to Extend Residency Rights to Military Spouses
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) introduced legislation that will allow military spouses to maintain residency in their home state regardless of military placement of their families. The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act will allow military spouses to have the same residency benefits given to our servicemembers.
"I am proud to introduce the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, which will give military spouses the ability to keep residency in their home state regardless of where military orders send their family," Senator Burr said. "Our military families are often called on to make frequent relocations, which can be very disruptive to family life, and it is only fair that we give the same residency benefits to spouses as we do to servicemembers. This legislation will allow military spouses to continue to vote and pay taxes in their home state. Military families make sacrifices that are not asked of most families, and providing them with this commonsense benefit is one way we can help ease the burden."
Under current law, our military men and women have the ability to claim a home of residence and maintain that home regardless of where military orders may send them. This can be the state where the servicemember lived prior to joining the military, or a new state may be used if the service member intends to live in that state upon separation from the armed forces.
Unfortunately, military spouses are not granted this same benefit, even though they still move around the country and interrupt their lives because of military orders. Spouses are also much less likely to have their names on deeds and titles of family property because of the implications of moving to another state, leaving many feeling like second class citizens.
Senator Burr’s bill would give a military spouse who moves out of state because of the service member’s military orders the same option to claim one state of domicile, regardless of where they are stationed. If a spouse chooses to take advantage of this, the service member and the spouse must have the same state of residence. This bill makes the move from station to station easier, constantly updating drivers’ licenses, filing tax returns for multiple states, and changing vehicle and voter registration with each move will no longer be necessary.
This bill is just one small way we can help ease the burden of military families, who make sacrifices everyday to support our men and women in uniform and to keep our country safe.