At Silverman, Mack & Associates, our Gainesville divorce attorneys understand the special circumstances that accompany military divorces. As such, we work above and beyond to ensure that the terms and conditions of your divorce are fair and efficient. We will also ensure that your divorce proceedings adhere to military divorce laws that exist to protect members of the armed forces and their spouses. Contact a Gainesville divorce attorney at our firm for further assistance.
Military Divorce Law
The federal government recognizes that the unique challenges faced in military divorce make common issues such as equitable distribution, alimony and child custody seem unachievable. As a result, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) was enacted in 1982. It is well-known that after serving within the military for at least twenty years, members of the military are entitled to a retirement pension program that provides monetary compensation for the full duration of the armed member’s life. The USFSPA is a federal legislation that allows such resource to be considered as property to weigh and evaluate during divorce. The act allows former spouses (who have been married to a member of the armed forces for at least ten years) to be awarded some marital property, medical support and other benefits from the retirement pension program account. To understand how the USFSPA may affect your divorce proceeding and how the act applies to your financial state, it is best to contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Gainesville, FL.
How Military Divorce Works
Like all divorce proceedings, military divorce only requires one individual to file a petition for divorce in the state of residence of the couple. Once the application for divorce is filed, the counterpart will receive a notice. He/she will be required to provide an official response to such notice. If the spouse is on active duty, he/she may be presented with the option to postpone or delay the divorce proceedings. This process is known as a “stay” statement and it is protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Once the divorce proceedings begin, issues such as property distribution and child support are addressed according to policies enforced by each unique branch of the military. For example, members of the Air Force may not be required to pay out the same amount of child support as members of the Navy.
The following factors may be considered by a judge during a military divorce proceeding to determine how basic disputes will be solved:
- The length of the marriage
- The property, income, expenditures, assets and debts of each spouse
- The total time that an armed member spent in the military
- The time of the retirement of the military member
- The length of deployments
- The location of deployments
- The frequency of travel for the family as a whole
- The amount and ages of children involved
- The skills and level of education of each spouse
- The total medical, physical and mental state of each spouse (i.e. disabled veterans may require additional services and fees which may result in less compensation to the former spouse)
Common Issues Faced in Military Divorce
Lengthy Deployments & Constant Travel
Many people identify military divorce as one of the most strenuous and complex types of divorce proceedings. Particularly, military divorces present unique challenges because of the common difficulty that is faced when working around the unstable schedule of members of the armed forces. With lengthy deployments, constant traveling and international residencies of military figures, divorce proceedings are likely to be delayed.
In many military divorce cases, it has been demonstrated that spouses of armed officials have sacrificed many resources to remain in marriage. For example, because of the constant traveling that the military demands, spouses are often unable to find steady employment. And even if they do, they are often forced to work under conditions that fall beneath their level of training and skills. In other words, spouses of military members are often unemployed or underemployed. These types of circumstances may make a military spouse eligible for spousal support and/or alimony.
Child Support & Care
The most significant issue faced during military divorce proceedings is the determination of support and care for any and all children involved. Timesharing arrangements, parenting plans and visitation schedules become all the more difficult, since members of the military often face abnormal traveling schedules and unstable living conditions. During military divorce proceedings, child support is often assigned to ensure that the financial needs of the children are met.
If you are considering filing for divorce in Florida, and you are a member of the armed forces and/or a military spouse, you will need a family divorce lawyer to help you navigate and understand military divorce laws and policies.
Gainesville Militory Divorce Attorneys
At our divorce law firm in Gainesville, FL, we do not take military divorce lightly. There are special laws regarding military divorce that must be followed in order to ensure a fair divorce proceeding. Whether you are an active member of the armed forces, a veteran, or a former spouse of a military member, your rights deserve to be protected. At Silverman, Mack & Associates, you can trust that you will gain just that and more. Contact our divorce attorneys in Gainesville, FL today for legal advice and guidance during a military divorce. We offer free initial consultations.