Nothing is ever easy when a couple decides to end their marriage. However, some hardships brought about by divorce are felt more keenly by those serving in the military. For example, a military divorce may take longer than average if one spouse is on active duty or serving in a permanent overseas station. Additionally, the nature of the military means that many divorced spouses who share children together may also face difficulties related to out-of-state relocation.
The good news is that our law firm is knowledgeable about the procedural processes and other factors that may affect your military divorce. For example, The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act is a federal statute that addresses issues related to child support, spousal support and military retirement pay and pension. One of the key provisions of this statute is that the USFSPA allows states like Florida the ability to consider the retirement pay of the military member as property rather than income.
Although this may seem like a minor distinction, that statute grants state family courts the ability to distribute that military retirement or pension pay between the spouses just as it might distribute a marital home. In most cases, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service pays out money to beneficiaries directly. If ordered by the court, you may be eligible to receive a portion of that pay if you meet certain criteria. Generally, to establish eligibility, you must have been married to a military member for 10 years that also overlapped with that member’s service of 10 years or greater.
Of course, there are other components to a military divorce such as time-sharing with your children. Florida courts now use that term to refer to visitation rights between divorce spouses. As mentioned previously, arriving at an equitable time-sharing agreement with your spouse may require skillful negotiation. Particularly, in cases where one spouse is geographically separated from the children by long distances.
Based in Miami, our law firm has experience representing clients throughout the Miami-Dade Metropolitan area who have unique requirements related to their military divorces. Prospective clients should know that there is no charge for an initial consultation about your military divorce. We can also accommodate clients who feel more comfortable speaking Spanish.