Military Divorces in Florida’s Family Law Courts
Divorce is a challenging experience, and it becomes even more complex when one or both parties serve in the military. Unique rules and protections apply to military divorces, which are typically different from civilian divorces. If you’re in Florida, understanding how the state’s family law courts handle military divorces can be invaluable during this tough time.
As a trusted Florida law firm, we specialize in family law and have considerable experience handling military divorces. This blog post aims to shed light on the intricacies of military divorces under Florida law.
Florida and Military Divorces: The Basics
The process of obtaining a military divorce in Florida is fundamentally the same as a civilian divorce. However, there are specific considerations and laws that apply exclusively to military divorces. These unique factors primarily revolve around residency requirements, service of process, division of military pensions, and child custody and support.
Residency and Filing Requirements
To file for divorce in Florida, either you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least six months. For military members, you can establish residency in Florida even if you are stationed elsewhere, as long as you claim Florida as your home state.
Service of Process and the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act (SSCRA)
The SSCRA provides protections to active-duty military members. If a service member is on active duty, the divorce proceedings can be postponed until their active duty ends. This provision is designed to prevent military personnel from being divorced without knowing it or having the ability to respond.
Division of Military Pensions
Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), a military spouse’s pension is considered marital property. Florida courts can award up to 50% of the service member’s “disposable retired pay,” which is their gross retirement pay minus specific deductions.
Child Custody and Support
Child custody and support decisions follow the same guidelines as civilian cases, with the best interests of the child as the paramount concern. However, due to the possibility of deployment or relocation, there may be special provisions in the custody agreement.
Navigating a military divorce requires a nuanced understanding of both Florida family law and federal military laws. It’s crucial to work with a legal team experienced in these matters to ensure your rights and interests are fully protected.
As a leading law firm in Florida, we provide comprehensive legal services tailored to your unique situation. If you’re facing a military divorce, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to guide you through the process with expertise, compassion, and dedication.