Five Essentials To Know About Military Divorces in Florida
When a divorce involves a military service member, there are unique considerations that must be addressed. At The Law Office of Laura A Olson, Laura A Olson understands the intricacies of military divorce and the importance of protecting the rights and benefits of her clients. To ensure you are aware of all the special rules involved in military divorces, you should work with our skilled Tampa military divorce attorney on your case.
#1 Jurisdiction is Complicated in Military Divorce Cases
One of the initial considerations in a military divorce is determining the appropriate jurisdiction. In general, the service member must meet the residency requirements of the state in which they are seeking the divorce. However, there are exceptions to this rule for military personnel due to their frequent relocations. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) grants states the authority to divide military pensions and provides guidelines for determining jurisdiction.
#2 Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
The SCRA offers important protections to military service members during divorce proceedings. It allows for a temporary suspension of certain civil proceedings, including divorce, when the service member’s military duties significantly affect their ability to participate. The SCRA also protects service members from default judgments and provides for the stay of proceedings while the military member is on active duty.
#3 Division of Military Pensions
The division of military pensions is a significant aspect of military divorce. Under the USFSPA, the court has the authority to divide military retirement pay as a marital asset. The “10/10 Rule” is often used to determine eligibility for direct payment to the former spouse. This rule requires that the couple was married for at least ten years overlapping with ten years of military service. However, the court may still consider the pension as a divisible asset in cases where the 10/10 rule is not met.
#4 Child Custody and Visitation
Child custody and visitation issues in military divorce cases require careful consideration. Frequent deployments and relocations can complicate matters, but the court’s primary concern is always the best interests of the child. The court may take into account the service member’s deployment schedule, stability of the child’s living arrangements, and the ability of both parents to provide for the child’s needs. The SCRA protects military personnel from default judgments in both divorce and child custody cases if they cannot respond to a petition due to their deployment.
#5 Military Benefits and Support
Military divorces also involve the division of military benefits, such as healthcare coverage, housing allowances, and survivor benefits. The USFSPA allows for the continuation of certain benefits for eligible former spouses. It is essential to work with an experienced attorney who can ensure that all relevant benefits are addressed and protected during the divorce process.
Seeking Professional Legal Guidance with a Tampa Military Divorce Attorney
Given the unique challenges of military divorce, it is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney in these cases. The Law Office of Laura A Olson specializes in military divorce cases and understands the intricacies involved. Laura A Olson can help you navigate the complex legal landscape, protect your rights and benefits, and work towards a fair and equitable resolution today.