With the right help, your military divorce can end smoothly

On behalf of South Tampa Law Group posted in military divorce on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Florida military members and their families already deal with difficult situations on a nearly daily basis, but divorce can be particularly tricky for these individuals. While the end goal of a military divorce is the same as that of a civilian divorce — to end a marriage — there are complicating factors that can make achieving this goal difficult. Couples must address sensitive issues like child custody, support and alimony all in the complicated realm of the armed forces.

Before a military member or his or her spouse can even file for divorce, a unique question must be addressed — in which state should the proceeding be filed? In general, there are three possible options. It’s possible to file in state where the active duty member is currently stationed, in the state where legal residency is claimed or in the state where the other spouse currently resides. This should not be an arbitrary decision. State laws govern things like property division, child custody and more, so couples should be certain that they file in the state that can best address their interests.

The military also applies special rules to child and spousal support, which ensures that a service member fulfills his or her support obligations. These payments can be enforced through a number of methods, including a court order, wage garnishment or allotment. In some cases, a military member might even be required to maintain life insurance that would cover the remainder of the support order in the event of his or her death.

Even after divorce, some spouses are still eligible for certain military benefits. These are typically reliant on both the length of the marriage and military service, although exceptions can and do apply. Because of the complicated nature of military divorce, benefits and support orders, couples filing for divorce in Florida may want to work through this process with the guidance of an experienced attorney.