The decision to divorce is never an easy and it may be even more difficult when one or both spouses are members of the military service. Divorce can be stressful and confusing, but it is especially complicated for members of the military. There are a number of concerns and considerations that can make divorce more complex in these situations. If you have decided to divorce it is best to speak with a reputable Tampa military divorce attorney as soon as possible.
One of the first questions that may come up in a military divorce is jurisdiction. Jurisdiction refers to the location that governs the divorce case. While a military member may be stationed in Florida, the actual residence may be in another state. Conversely, military members may be Florida residents but are stationed elsewhere. It is important to note that Florida has special rules in place to handle these types of situations.
When the couple has minor children, issues that have to do with them are handled in the state where they have been residing for the past six months. Since service members may be deployed to another location after a divorce proceeding begins, the matter can become more complicated. Under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, a divorce may be postponed while one spouse is actively deployed out of the country. These issues must be discussed with a competent military divorce attorney.
Military branches each have their own guidelines regarding support, which would take effect in cases where there is no other agreement or court order. In addition to support, there are special issues that must be considered regarding military pay and allowances. While military allowances are often tax-free, military pay is not.
There are many types of pay and allowances. Some of the common types of pay include basic, combat, hazardous duty, and flight. Allowances may be made for housing, subsistence, disability, and per diem, among others. Your attorney needs to review the military member’s pay for support and other requirements.
Equitable Distribution of Property
In Florida, as in other states, marital property must be distributed equitably between partners in a divorce. This can be more complicated when it comes to members of the military. The spouse of a service member may be eligible for direct government payment if they meet the 10/10 rule. This states that payment is made if the spouse has 10 years of marriage that overlap with 10 years of active duty service.
Another important calculation must be made in regards to division of retirement pay. Since these issues can be complex they require an experienced military divorce attorney in order to be sure that the matter is properly handled. Otherwise, the circumstances could end up costing you quite a large sum of money.
Help from a Skilled Military Divorce Attorney
If you are interested in a military divorce, it is likely that you have many questions. Meet with a qualified divorce attorney with experience in military divorces. This can be essential in achieving an equitable divorce. Your attorney will guide you through the process from start to finish, ensuring that your rights are protected.
Contact the Tampa divorce and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+