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Navigating Military Divorce in Florida

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Divorce, Military Divorce |

Being in the military has its unique set of challenges, including a different process of getting a divorce. If you are in Florida and contemplating a divorce, here are some considerations to take into account and to help handle the divorce process strategically.

Requirements and Legalities

Florida is a no-fault state, meaning no grounds for divorce are needed. Before filing for divorce, it’s best to check these other legal circumstances:

  • Jurisdiction: Establishing the appropriate court for your divorce is crucial. Generally, one spouse must have been a Florida resident for at least six months before filing. The state might still hold jurisdiction if the active-duty member doesn’t reside in Florida but claims it as their home state of record.
  • Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA): This federal law protects deployed service members from legal proceedings progressing in their absence. The SSCRA allows courts to postpone divorce proceedings for the duration of deployment. However, the deployed spouse can waive this right, enabling the case to proceed.

Once you and your spouse have these in mind you may proceed with gathering and processing the necessary documents.

Asset Division and Parental Responsibilities

During the mediation process, you and your spouse need to come to an agreement and arrive at agreeable terms regarding the following:

  • Property division: The state of Florida upholds equitable distribution of assets in divorce. This means the division of assets and debts is fair, not equal. A good example is the military pension which is marital property. A qualified domestic relations order is typically required to specify how much of the military pension goes to the former spouse.
  • Spousal support: Florida courts generally assume that permanent alimony is unnecessary unless the marriage lasts seven years or longer. The court also examines factors such as the non-military spouse’s earning capacity, the length of the marriage, and the sacrifices made due to the military lifestyle when determining spousal support.
  • Time-sharing and parenting plan: When it comes to children in divorce, the court prioritizes the child‘s best interest when determining time-sharing and parenting planning. The court considers several factors, including the child’s relationship with each parent, needs, and age.

A divorce is a significant life change. Consider seeking a legal professional who is well-versed in Florida family law and military divorce cases to help you pave the way for a smoother transition into the next chapter of your life.