Florida military divorce is complicated and stressful. From filing the military divorce proceedings to spousal retirement benefits, the process involved requires a lot of time and effort to completely close the divorce case successfully. Though military divorce is not so different from civilian divorce, there are several unique rules and requirements for U.S service members and their spouses to file for divorce in Florida.
Military divorce issues include filing for the divorce, and numerous family-related factors such as child custody and support, property division, and division of retirement benefits. Unlike civilian divorce, military divorce involves different circumstantial factors that a divorced spouse needs to know before deciding and finalizing the proceedings.
Military Divorce Eligibility
Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act (USFSPA), military divorce applies to all active duty, reserve/guard, and retired personnel:
- U.S. Armed Forces: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force.
- U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS)
- National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Military Divorce Filing
Military service members with their families move around frequently because they are assigned where they are needed, anytime and anywhere. Some states have different laws as compared to their permanent residence, which makes it difficult to file for a divorce.
Military Divorce Protection
Under Florida decree, divorce for military service members are regulated by these two:
1. Federal laws – Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
This act protects military servicemen and women, who are away on active duty, to pending the divorce proceedings and default judgments until responding to the case or attending the court hearing.
2. Florida Statute – governs legal issues such as alimony, child support, and child custody.
Both these laws and statutes may hinder the divorce proceedings and may require more time, effort, and costs involved. Hiring a good family lawyer may help you discuss the case in your favor, ease the burdens and save from costly expenses.
Military Divorce Qualification Requirement
When filing for a military divorce in Florida, the divorcing couple must meet the state’s residency requirements:
- The military serviceman or woman should be a resident of Florida or stationed in Florida with a minimum of six months or
- At least one spouse had lived in Florida for six months
Talking to a Fort Myers Floridian divorce attorney about filing a military divorce can give you a more favorable condition with a win-win solution in your case.
Factors Affecting Military Divorces:
1. Child Custody and Support
Commonly in most military divorce cases, child custody and support are major issues to consider for both divorce couples. Several factors may affect the judgment and finalization of the proceedings such as:
- Deployment- the frequency of deployment and past or future deployment
- Leaves and relocation
- Financial support
For deployment issues, most Florida courts favor a parent who is not deployed or frequently deployed for the child’s best interest and offer more stability in the life of the child. Also, the court disregards the past or future deployment of the service personnel and even discriminates against their parental rights.
In terms of financial support, frequently judges may order a parent to sustain and give money to the other parent who has child custody. However, child custody support is based on the state’s guidelines and rules as far as the financial computation is concerned. You may consult an experienced family divorce attorney to know more about military divorce child support.
2. Division of Property
Florida law practices the principle of equitability when it comes to property division on military divorces. However, several factors can be considered if the court finds the equitable distribution not justified:
- the duration of the marriage
- economic situation
- property dissipation
Division of property is another important issue for both divorce couples to tackle and resolve their divorce problem. Speaking with a divorce attorney who has long years of military divorce experience can help you out and provide more favor in your case against your other half.
3. Spousal Support
Spousal support in Florida is granted to the spouse if there is a need for it. The court may grant the alimony which may depend on:
- each parties property value
- how long did the marriage last
- each parties ability to meet each need
Generally, the amount for spousal support and alimony to the other spouse is no more than 60% of a service member’s pay and allowances which includes:
- Career termination to follow a spouse’s PCS orders
- Military Retirements
- Division of property
- Health Benefits
- And Others
In addition, spousal support has limitations that may depend on its alimony type such as:
4. Military Retirement
Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) or Protection Act, the other partner must be married to a service member with a minimum of ten years while the service member was active military personnel.
The benefits of the other partner will be provided by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).
However, if the time frame is less than ten years, the Florida state statute will govern. Giving the other partner entitlement to receive a portion of the military personnel’s retirement which is directly paid by the ex-spouse and not by the government, and/or as decided by the Court. For this reason, it is necessary to have a highly qualified military divorce attorney to handle your divorce proceedings.
Contact Florida’s Trusted Military Divorce Law Attorney
Florida military divorce is complicated and unique. Consulting with an experienced military divorce attorney can help you ease the proceeding complexities and have a win-win solution favor in your divorce case. Atty. Mellany Marquez-Kelly is a professional military divorce attorney with long years of divorce experience in Fort Myers and its surrounding areas in Florida.
Mellany Marquez-Kelly provides several legal services including military divorce, child custody, and child support to clients. She has a comprehensive understanding of Florida military divorce laws and decrees that has helped residents in the Ft. Myers, Cape Coral area, and received favorable results in the resolution of their divorce cases.
Atty. Mellany Marquez-Kelly
- Child Support and Alimony
- Child Custody and Temporary Custody