Maitland Military Divorce Lawyer
While the final outcome and the grounds for divorce are the same for both military and civilian divorces, the processes involved when obtaining those divorces are very different. To ensure that your own military divorce is handled properly, consider reaching out to a dedicated Maitland military divorce lawyer today.
Filing for Divorce
When civilians file for divorce, they usually do so in the county where they reside. For military personnel, however, jurisdiction can be a bit different, as it may not be where a person is residing (especially if stationed somewhere else), but where his or her legal residence is. Members of the military and their spouses have three options when filing for divorce:
- Filing in the state where the petitioner lives;
- Filing in the state where the service member is stationed; and
- Filing in the state where the service member claims legal residency.
Ultimately, it is the law of the state where a couple files for divorce that will govern issues like property division and child custody. It’s important to note that regardless of state law, federal law protects service members from being sued or initiating divorce proceedings while they are on active duty, or for the 60 days following an active duty assignment.
Benefits and Pensions
While most divorce-related legal issues, like child custody are decided based on state law, certain matters, namely military benefits and pensions are split according to the standards contained in the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). For instance, this law authorizes the direct payment of a portion of one spouse’s military benefits to a former spouse upon divorce. Under the 10 year rule, the non-military spouse’s share of benefits will be paid out by the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS), but only if at least ten years of the couple’s marriage overlapped with ten years of military service. Even if this timeframe isn’t met, a court can still decide to award a non-military spouse a portion of the other’s benefits. In these cases, however, the benefits will be paid directly by the former spouse and not the government. A non-military spouse could also be eligible for full medical coverage, commissary, and exchange privileges in cases involving the end of a long-term marriage.
Child Custody and Support
Child support awards are determined according to Florida law and are based on the service member’s total entitlements, including base pay, basic housing and subsistence allowance, and special pay. Non-military spouses often receive larger child support awards than is customary, simply because military spouses may be deployed and have less time with their children. Fortunately, even if the majority of time sharing is granted to a non-military spouse, the service member parent will still have some protections, including the right to virtual visitation. Florida law also prohibits non-military parents from attempting to change custody arrangements while the other parent is deployed.
Contact Anderson & Ferrin for Legal Help
Call 407-412-7041 to set up a free consultation with an experienced Maitland military divorce lawyer at Anderson & Ferrin today.