Excessive distance and long placement periods away from children and wife makes military marriages very difficult to survive. However, a divorce involving a military service member is more complex and can be more complicated than a divorce between civilians. That’s why couples contemplating divorce must ensure that they hire a qualified military divorce lawyer Jacksonville.
They should ensure that they get an attorney who understands conditions and laws regarding community property division, military retirement plan division, debt allocation, child support and custody, military benefit divisions, and alimony and tax considerations. Some of the factors that affect military divorce and set them apart from civilian marriages include the following.
Military Divorce and Children Custody
When making judgments on military divorce, the Florida courts are always more cautious about children’s rights and protection. Considering time-sharing arrangements for children, spouses on active military duty will likely lose custody in case of a divorce. This is because military service will be considered a key factor in time-sharing arrangements. However, both parents are entitled to a basic right and have a responsibility to see and spend time with their children.
Military Pensions and Divorce
The Uniformed Service Former Spouse Protection Act states that courts treat disposable military pension income as a property of the service member _or of a service member and a spouse. They are regarded as marital or community property and can be divided like other assets shared in common. However, a soldier’s spouse only receives direct pension payment from the Department of Defence if they meet the 10/10 rule’s requirement.
The 20-20-20 Rule for Military Divorce
the longer military members stay in service, the better the benefits, and the longer their marriage lasts, the stronger the rights during a divorce. The 10/10 rule states that an ex-spouse who stayed in marriage with a military member for ten years, with ten years overlapping military service may receive direct, half pension payments through the Defence Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) after divorce.
A couple that meets the 15/20 (15 years of service and 20 years of marriage) get more benefits, including a 1-year medical cover after divorce has been finalized. And for a spouse that meets the 20 years of marriage and 20 years of service, the benefits are much better. They retain the medical cover benefits, are entitled to PX commissary rights, and a right to cost of living adjustments.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003
After an update to the law that only applied to the Army and Navy, all military service members are now entitled to protection from a civil lawsuit. Any civil action, including a paternity suit, a divorce petition against any active member can stay for an initial period of 90 days, and a high possibility of prolonging the stay. This law was passed based on the service member’s deployment status and can impact child support, modifications, and child custody.
Military divorce cases are always complicated. When hiring an attorney, it’s important to get a military divorce lawyer Jacksonville who understands the federal and state laws governing military divorce. It should also be someone who understands the client’s rights and is ready to fight for them according to the law.