Tampa Military Divorce
Divorce Lawyer for Tampa, FL
divorce has different rules compared to a civilian divorce, which is why different
state and federal laws apply. In Florida, there are certain laws that
protect an active military member from being held in default if they fail
to respond to a divorce action. Such rules came about in order to protect
military personnel from being divorced by a spouse without proper notification.
The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, 50 UCS §521, and a court
ruling may postpone divorce during the time a soldier is on duty, and
for up to 60 days after.
If a military member knows about the divorce, they may waive the postponement
and carry on with the divorce proceedings. Those who are divorcing a retired
military member also face different divorce and financial division regulations.
Depending on how long a couple has been married, a spouse may not be entitled
to the soldier's retired pay. If you are attempting to divorce a soldier,
or if you are a soldier who is facing divorce, contact the Tampa divorce
lawyer at the Law Offices of Manuel Fajardo as soon as possible.
Requirements for Military Divorce
If you wish to divorce a solider while they are on active duty, the spouse
must be personally served with a summons and a copy of the divorce action.
This way, the Florida court system will have jurisdiction over the soldier.
In an uncontested divorce, or a divorce where both spouses agree to amicably
separate without the assistance of a court, a soldier may not have to
be served with divorce papers as long as they sign a waiver stating they
agree to continue the divorce process. In order to file for a military
divorce in Florida, you or your spouse must live or be stationed in Florida
for a minimum of 6 months. Divorcing a retired military member and receiving
part of their military retirement fund depends on multiple factors.
Florida law states that retirement benefits earned while the couple was
married should be equally distributed. This does not mean that the non-member
automatically receives half of the entire retirement fund, nor are they
entitled to receive more than 50%. If the military member was enlisted
prior to marrying their spouse, or continues to serve after the divorce,
they will not have to split the money earned for retirement during that
timeframe. The couple must also be married for a minimum of 10 years,
and the member must have served in the military during that time in order
for the non-member to receive money from the Department of Defense. This
is also known as the Ten-Year rule.
The 20-20-20 rule means that a marriage has lasted for at least 20 years,
with the member serving at least 20 years of duty that overlapped the
marriage for at least 20 years. If this is the case, a non-member can
receive all military benefits of the retired military spouse. Survivor
benefits must also be discussed in the final divorce proceedings. Members
may not want to award survival benefits to their non-member spouse because
it lowers the net amount they can receive. There is no law stating the
specifics on how survivor benefits should be handled in divorce, so it
is usually determined by the court.
Our Firm Can Help
According to Florida law, child support and spousal support/alimony cannot
exceed 60% of a military member's pay and allowances in a military
divorce. Normal child support guidelines and schedules are applied, but
the member is not expected to pay more than 60% of their earnings towards
their spouse or child. Military divorce is a complicated process, and
different state and federal laws apply to spouses than those who are seeking
a normal civilian divorce.
Even if a couple agrees to an uncontested divorce, one spouse should hire
an experienced attorney to ensure that the process is properly resolved.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Manuel Fajardo may be able to assist
clients in every military divorce aspect. We have extensive knowledge
about the military divorce laws and rules of Florida, and we can help
divide your property and determine the proper amount of child and spousal
support according to military regulations. Please contact our firm, or
feel free to fill out a complimentary case evaluation form on our website.