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What You Need to Know About Filing for a Military Divorce in Florida
Filing for a military divorce in Florida poses unique issues that a civilian divorce would not encounter. This is why it is important you hire a Florida divorce attorney that has experience with military divorces.
The laws are specifically set up to protect the active duty military member and protect them from being held in “default” if they fail to respond to a divorce petition. These laws were originally designed to protect military members from being divorced without knowing about it – especially while overseas serving their country.
Deciding where to file for divorce is probably the most difficult decision in these types of cases. The spouse filing for divorce will need to reside in Florida or the active duty member must have designated Florida as their home state of record. While Florida may be the state for the divorce, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act determines in which state the litigation regarding children’s issues takes place.
Luckily, the grounds for filing divorce against a military member at the same as a civilian divorce; therefore, couples can file for irrevocably broken marriages and not have to prove their reasons for the petition.
The Division of Assets
Dividing assets is much more complicated in a military divorce, especially when it comes to the division of military retirement accounts. In order to collect a share of military retirement benefits, a military spouse must have been married to the military member for a minimum of 10 years, which must overlap their service time of no less than 10 years. Therefore, if you were married for 20 years, but your spouse was only a member of the military for 8 years, you would not be entitled to receive any military retirement benefits.
It is important to realize that this is only the federal law. Your spouse may still be ordered by the courts to pay you a portion of their retirement benefits, which will be set up through the state – instead of the federal government. Most couples assume that if they do not qualify under the federal rule, they do not get any share of retirement benefits, but this is untrue.
Child Support and Alimony
Child support and spousal support rules in Florida State that the total cannot exceed more than 60 percent of the military’s salary and allowances. All normal Florida worksheets and guidelines are still used to determine the amount of child support to be paid.
Are You Filing for a Military Divorce in Florida? Contact a Divorce Attorney Right Away
Filing for divorce is complicated enough, but a military divorce has special complications that a seasoned divorce attorney would know. At McMichen, Cinami & Demps, we have experience handling military divorce cases and can assist you with yours. Contact us today at 407-898-2161 to schedule a consultation or fill out an online contact form to ask us your questions.