Military divorces involve a number of unique issues that can make them more complex than civilian divorces. In order to ensure that you receive the best outcome, it is important to retain a qualified attorney with ample experience handling military divorces.
Military divorces involve the following unique considerations:
- Choosing a state to file for divorce in. Military families tend to move around, so there may be a question as to which state to file for divorce in. If you can file in more than one state, it may make a difference which one you choose. You will need to discuss where you are eligible to file with an attorney.
- Division of military pensions. One of the biggest concerns in military divorces is the division of military retirement funds and other benefits. How the pension is divided depends on the length of the marriage as well as the length of the service member’s continuous active duty service. Military spouses are not automatically entitled to a portion of their husband or wife’s pension at divorce – in fact, there is no provision for this under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA). However, they may be awarded up to 50% of their former spouse’s retired pay. According to the 20/20/20 rule, the former spouse may also be entitled to full medical, exchange, and commissary privileges when the marriage lasted at least 20 years, the service member completed at least 20 years of creditable service, and there was at least 20 years of overlap of the marriage and the military service.
- Children & deployment. When a parent is an active duty service member, the issues of child custody and visitation can be complex. It is critical to involve a lawyer who is experienced in military divorce to help you come up with a plan that will enable both parents to maintain a relationship with their children.
The Pensacola divorce lawyers at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. have more than four decades of experience handling military divorce cases in Northwest Florida. If you are seeking a divorce in Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, or Panama City Beach, please contact our firm today to request an initial consultation. We can be reached at (850) 257-7086.