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Military Divorce

Military Divorce Attorneys in Melbourne, FL

Any divorce is stressful, confusing, and emotionally draining, but military divorce in particular creates unique and complex issues. There are many things to consider in a military divorce, such as military pensions, child custody, and spousal support due to the civilian spouse’s inability to gain employment because of frequent relocation. There are also laws that protect service members, so it is important to work with an experienced military divorce attorney in Melbourne, FL. At the Figueroa Law Group, P.A., we are confident that we can help you resolve your case effectively.

Call us or contact us online today.

Proceedings, Relocation, Pensions, and Support

Federal and state laws have been enacted to protect the active-duty military. Divorce proceedings can be postponed throughout a service member’s deployment. This may be frustrating for one or both parties involved, but these laws ensure the divorce is not finalized without the military member’s knowledge and participation. Additionally, active-duty military members must be served with a summons, or, in an uncontested divorce, the military spouse must sign a waiver recognizing the divorce.

Due to frequent relocation, the parties may not know where to file. It’s common for military couples to get married in one state, own property in another, and to have moved to several other states during their marriage. 

The Melbourne, FL military divorce attorneys at the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. can determine in which state is the best to file. Since state divorce laws vary, there are many factors to consider, including the division of assets, military pensions, child support and custody, and spousal support. These factors are weighed and considered differently in a military divorce than in a non-military divorce.

Where to File Your Divorce?

In a military divorce, the judge’s authority over you and your spouse is essential for the divorce to be legal. In determining jurisdiction between a civilian and military member is that the former is determined by where you live, while the latter may be the place where the person maintains legal residency.

In general, there are three places where a military member or their spouses may file for divorce:

  • Filling spouse’s current residence
  • Military member’s stationed area (where they are stationed)
  • Military member’s legal residency

If you are unsure where to file, consult a military divorce attorney from Figueroa Law Group to get legal advice.

Division of Property

A military divorce, like a civilian divorce, follows most property division criteria, such as determining which basis the court uses to divide property – equitable distribution or community property.

If the court follows equitable distribution, the court will examine your existing circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s financial situation
  • Employment situation
  • The financial condition of each spouse
  • Employment status
  • The value of each spouse brought into their marriage, specifically their separate property.
  • Each spouse’s future financial needs and responsibilities
  • Age and health
  • Prenuptial agreements

On the other hand, the community property concept follows a 50/50 rule, which implies that all marital property is shared equally between the couples. When retirement benefits are included in a military divorce, the partition of property becomes more difficult.

What Happens to Your Retirement or Military Pension and Other Benefits?

Every military retirement benefit or pension is considered to be a marital property which means that it is subjected to a division of property. It is important to remember that only “disposable retired pay” can be divided after a divorce. This refers to the service member’s gross retirement pay minus any amounts the government deducted. Hence, it is important to use the term “disposable retired pay” to make it clear what is being divided.

The 10/10 rule must be satisfied first in order for the military to pay the retirement benefits to the divorced spouse directly: both must have been married for at least 10 years, with the service member having at least 10 overlapping years of military service. Even if the marriage did not meet the 10/10 rule, a judge could still divide the military retirement; the only difference is that it is given by your spouse when he or she receives it rather than the DFAS or the military.

In addition to that, former spouses are granted continued access to other benefits (e.g., health care benefits, commissary, and exchange) under USFSPA, provided they meet the 20/20/20 rule: both must have been married for at least 20 years, the service member must have served at least 20 years, and that both must be overlapped for at least 20 years. 

However, the ex-spouse may still have limited access to military benefits, provided that the marriage lasted at least 20 years and the military spouse served for at least 20 years, but the marriage only overlapped the service by 15 years.

If you to make sure that you have a fair distribution of your retirement benefits, contact our Florida divorce lawyer to help calculate how much should be divided and give legal representation in a divorce proceeding.

Spousal (Alimony) and Child Support

Couples frequently compromise in their marriages. In a situation where one spouse is a military member, the other spouse may decide to give up their career to raise their children or financially support the family while the military spouse climbs through the ranks of the military. So, if the marriage fails, you have no financial security since you put your career on hold. Luckily, there is such thing as alimony or spousal support.

In a military divorce, there is a set of rules that are followed in granting and calculating alimony. While there is a set of guidelines for family support in every branch of the military, these guidelines are only applied when there is no agreement between both spouses regarding support and there’s no court order present.

Moreover, service members are legally compelled to support their children in the same way that everyone else is. The military imposes punishments (e.g., dismissal from military duty) on service members who fail to pay support.

Get in Touch with our Melbourne Military Divorce Attorney

Military divorce can raise issues that may affect military residents. The process can be more complex due to more factors involving military rules and regulations. Our attorneys are here to help you with the specific issues that are involved in military divorce.

Let us assist you with:

Call us today to discuss your legal needs with our team.


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Facing Divorce or other family law matters? We can help!