What Makes Military Divorce Different
Military families face some unique challenges and stresses. Beyond deployment, tight schedules, and the potential for frequent relocations, not every couple is built for the military lifestyle.
When military couples do choose to separate, they should be aware that there are some federal and state regulations that make these cases somewhat different from other divorces.
In this article, our dedicated Clearwater military divorce attorney highlights three of the most important things that military members and their spouses need to know about getting divorced.
Three Important Things Military Families Should Know About Divorce
- Your Military Divorce May Be Affected By Federal Law
Perhaps the single biggest difference between military divorces and civilian divorces is that the marriage may be affected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Under this federal law, a divorce cannot proceed against a military member while they are on active duty deployment. During this time (active deployment), any divorce proceedings must be stayed. This law allows military members to focus on their service. This does not mean that military members can stop their spouse from seeking a divorce. Instead, it simply means they have a right to halt the case until they return from deployment.
- Military Families are Exempt From Many State Residency Requirements
As a general rule, U.S. states have residency requirements that must be met before a couple can file for divorce within the jurisdiction. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes Section 61.021), at least one partner must have lived in the state for six consecutive months before a divorce petition can be filed. However, military members — who may be forced to move more frequently based on their service — are generally exempt from this residency requirement. If either partner is stationed in Florida, the state can be the appropriate venue to file a divorce petition.
- Military Spouses May Be Entitled to a Portion of Their Partner’s Military Benefits
Finally, military benefits may be at issue in divorce cases. This generally a significant concern in cases where the marriage lasted for several years before the separation occurred. Under a federal law known as the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), a military spouse may be entitled to get a portion of their former partner’s military pension sent directly to them. Medical care and other military benefits may also be distributed to a spouse. These cases are complicated, and it is important that military members or spouses of military members who are separated seek guidance from a qualified Florida divorce lawyer.
Contact Our Clearwater, FL Military Divorce Lawyer Today
At the Law Offices of Gale H. Moore P.A., our top-rated Clearwater divorce lawyer has the skills and experience needed to handle complex military separations. If you or your spouse is a military member and you are considering getting a divorce in Florida, we are here to help. To set up a fully confidential review of your case, please do not hesitate to call our legal team at 727-584-2528.