Divorce can be a complicated matter for anyone. The process of dissolving a marriage can become significantly more complex if one of the spouses is a member of the military. This is because certain laws exist that apply to military marriages that do not apply to civilian marriages. The following is some information regarding military divorce in Florida.
Protection From Default
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects a military member on active duty from divorce proceedings to which they cannot respond. Often, when a spouse refuses to respond to a divorce filing, the spouse requesting the divorce can file a motion for default and have the marriage dissolved. This could result in a military member coming back to the United States or Florida and being surprised that they are divorced. For this reason, the law allows the proceedings to be postponed for the duration of their active duty and for an additional 60 days if needed. If the military member is okay with the dissolution, they can waive their right to postpone the divorce.
Property Division and Support Issues
Though real and personal marital property will still be subject to Florida’s equitable division laws, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) sets out how to divide military retirement benefits. For marriages that lasted over 10 years during the military duty, the USFSPA directs that a portion of the military member’s retirement benefits goes directly to the former spouse.
On the other hand, Florida law sets limits on the total amount of spousal support and child support that can come out of a military member’s pay. The support cannot equal more than 60 percent of the pay and allowances received by the military member.
Other Florida Divorce Laws Apply as Usual
When it comes to the other terms of a divorce, the general Florida divorce laws will apply to a military divorce filed within the state. For example, the grounds for divorce are the same for both a military couple and a civilian couple. Child custody determinations will be made according to law and, though active military service could be a factor considered in the custody and timesharing decisions, the overall decision will still be based on the best interest of the child. If both spouses are present in Florida, the process will be the same as any other divorce and both spouses should retain their own experienced attorneys for assistance.
An Experienced Boca Raton Divorce Attorney Can Assist You
Every divorce will be different and may have unique legal issues that may arise. Whether you are a member of the military, own a business, have a high net worth, or have children, experienced Boca Raton divorce lawyer Alan R. Burton can help you. Mr. Burton has an extensive understanding of all applicable Florida divorce laws and will strive to handle your case in the most efficient way possible. If you are considering divorce, please do not hesitate to call our office at 954-229-1660 for a free discussion today.