Defending Your Peace of Mind
Orlando Military Divorce Attorneys
Experienced Attorneys for Military Divorce – Call 800-822-5170
The divorce process is already complicated, but when one or both spouses are military members, the divorce process is more complex. Military divorces raise a host of unique issues, such as: military retirement, Tricare healthcare coverage, time-sharing if one parent is deployed, as well as time-sharing challenges that arise from a military member receiving new orders. These are just some of the unique obstacles our attorneys have assisted clients with when dealing with military divorce.
Why Call Our Military Divorce Lawyers?
- 100+ years of Combined Experience
- Litigation Experience as Assistant Attorney General
- Included in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 List
- Same-Day Appointments & 24/7 Attorney Access
- Conveniently Located Near a Military Base
Want to learn how we can help you? Call 800-822-5170.
Want to learn more about the military divorce process? Below are further examples of military divorce problems our experienced military divorce lawyers can assist you with.
Military Divorce and Jurisdiction
The issue of jurisdiction arises when the parties are unsure of where to properly file their petition for divorce. Our military divorce attorneys can assist you in evaluating the facts of your case to accurately determine the proper jurisdiction in which to handle your Orlando, FL divorce.
The state of Florida has a six-month residency requirement before a divorce can properly be filed. Military members who have not been physically present in Florida, but have listed Florida as their state of residency, may still file for divorce in Florida. If you are uncertain about whether Florida has jurisdiction over your military divorce, call our attorneys today and schedule your consultation.
Military Retirement and Divorce
Military retirement is an employment benefit that is dividable in a divorce proceeding. If the spouse seeking their portion of the military retirement in a divorce case has been married to a military member for 10 years, then they are entitled to receive their court-ordered portion directly from the government. If the party seeking the portion of the military divorce has not been married to the service member for 10 years they can still receive their portion of the military retirement awarded under the divorce order, except the payment will be paid to the military member.
Military Divorce and Health Benefits
TRICARE is the Department of Defense's (DoD) health care program for active-duty service members, retirees, and their dependents. When a military couple divorces, the non-military spouse (former spouse) may lose access to TRICARE as a dependent.
However, there are circumstances in which the former spouse may remain eligible for TRICARE benefits:
- 20/20/20 Rule: Under the 20/20/20 rule, a former spouse who meets the following criteria is eligible for continued TRICARE coverage:
- The marriage lasted at least 20 years.
- The service member performed at least 20 years of creditable service toward their retirement.
- There was at least a 20-year overlap between the marriage and the military service.
- 20/20/15 Rule: If the former spouse doesn't meet the 20/20/20 rule but the marriage and service overlap for at least 15 years, they may be eligible for one year of transitional TRICARE coverage under the 20/20/15 rule. This coverage is a bridge between the military health care system and civilian health insurance.
- Continued Health Care Coverage for Children: In most cases, children of military service members remain eligible for TRICARE after divorce, regardless of the length of the marriage, as long as they are dependents of the service member.
Military Divorce & Housing Benefits
Military housing, also known as on-base or government housing, is an option for service members and their families. In a divorce, the allocation of on-base housing can be part of the settlement:
- Continued Access: The former spouse may be entitled to continue living in on-base housing for a specific duration, particularly if they meet the criteria for eligibility, such as the 20/20/20 rule.
- Waiting Lists: If the former spouse is not eligible for on-base housing but wishes to apply for it, they may need to join a waiting list. Being aware of the local housing office's policies and the specific base regulations is important.
In many cases, the former spouse will transition to off-base housing after the divorce. The financial aspects of this transition, including the division of housing costs, should be addressed in the divorce settlement. The court may consider factors such as the former spouse's financial situation, the needs of any children, and the service member's income and allowances when determining the housing arrangements.
In military divorces, it's not uncommon for one or both parties to move to different locations due to changes in duty station or military orders. These relocations can impact housing arrangements, child custody, and visitation schedules. Courts will consider these factors when making decisions related to housing and custody.
Other Unique Considerations for Military Divorces
Military divorces involve the following unique considerations that can make them a little more complicated than civilian divorces:
- 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 and 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.
- Child support enforcement: The military has mechanisms to enforce child support orders against service members, even if they are stationed in another state or country. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) can help ensure child support payments are made.
- Spousal support: Florida courts may award spousal support (alimony) to the non-military spouse if it is deemed necessary and equitable. The court will consider factors like the length of the marriage, the financial resources of both spouses, and the service member's income and allowances.
- Military service relief: The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides certain legal protections to active-duty service members during divorce proceedings. This includes the ability to delay or stay court proceedings while on active duty, as well as protections against default judgments if the service member cannot participate in the divorce process due to their military service.
How Long Does a Military Divorce Take in FL?
The state of Florida has a 20-day waiting period that is mandatory which takes place in between the petition filing and court hearing. This is implemented so that couples can "cool off" and reconsider their decision to divorce, although this rarely occurs. If your divorce is filed as uncontested, you can expect to wait an additional 3-4 months. Contested cases can last up to several years depending on the number of issues at hand. Cases involving children or high assets tend to last longer.
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