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I received a referral OPR for dating a women that was

Customer Question
I received a referral...

I received a referral OPR for dating a women that was separated from her husband for roughly a year. They lived several hundred miles away and had already filed divorced paperwork by the time we started dating. Do you think I have a good case for getting the OPR removed?

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in?

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to anyone in the chain of command about this?

Not yet

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Military Law
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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I have also moved to a different station from Florida to Alabama.
Answered in 1 hour by:
9/20/2017
Military Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Lawyer replied 11 months ago
Allen M., Esq.
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,636
Experience: Lawyer and current JAG officer.
Verified

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

That will depend entirely on the board that hears your request. That being said, legally you don't have a good argument, because separation is not divorce. While the fact of separation is something that a commander can take into consideration, the commander doesn't have to and can stick by the rule requiring that the divorce be complete before the individual is truly single and available for another relationship.

Having moved to a different station wouldn't really matter. The question the board has to answer is whether or not the commander acted within his/her discretion when giving the referral. it is certainly worth making the request because you have nothing to lose, but the arguments you make are factual and not legal. That simply means that you aren't point to a legal flaw in the OPR, but rather, factual reasons why you believe the commander shouldn't have given it. If the board agrees that it was an overreaction, then it could be removed.

If you have any further questions or other facts that you would like me to consider, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a three, a four or preferably a five star rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I'm not sure if this matters or not, but when I was going through my divorce the previous commander mentioned if I was legally separated and I said yes and he said good now you can start dating. So I took that as it being ok later on to date my now current girlfriend. The new commander when she found out clearly didn't see it that way. The now ex-husband didn't even complain about the relationship, it ended up being a person I thought was a friend got upset and told the Director of Staff. Given my position as an executive officer for the Vice Commander I got slammed hard.
Military Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Lawyer replied 11 months ago

That was your previous commander's opinion. It's not the law and, unfortunately, that previous commander set an expectation for you that was not carried through to the next commander.

You can certainly argue it as a basis for why you thought it was fine and the board can consider it.

Again, it is a factual argument, not a legal argument. There is nothing wrong with that, but it just means that you can't point to any statute or regulation that is going to back you up here. Instead, you have to argue how the factual situation isn't fair.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
In your experience how likely would you say that it could be thrown out? I'm guessing it's a total crapshoot...
Military Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Lawyer replied 11 months ago

Yeah, it sort of is. It's like reading tea leaves. It depends entirely on who is sitting on the board, how they receive the information and any opinions they carry into the room with them.

Again, you have nothing to lose by making the request.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I don't really know how to start the process, is it something I'd have to involve current leadership on or is it something I can do on my own?
Military Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Lawyer replied 11 months ago

You don't need to involve your leadership. You'd just fill out a DD Form 149 with the military records corrections board.

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Military Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Lawyer replied 11 months ago

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required after the response I previously provided to you. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.

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