Protecting Peoples Rights in Divorce, Family Law & Paternity Cases in Orlando and Central Florida

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Military Service Member Divorce

We represent military members and their spouses throughout the Orlando and Central Florida area in divorce and paternity cases. If you are a member of the military involved in a divorce or paternity case, call us today to speak with an experienced Orlando attorney. At the Wilson Law Firm, we work to protect your interests and to assist you in resolving your situation in an effective and efficient manner.

Military Service Members:

The law recognizes that military members and their spouses have unique situations which need to be taken into consideration during a divorce proceeding and there are certain exception that apply to military members. This page of our website discusses a few topics concerning military members and their spouses. For more information, call us to speak with an experienced Orlando divorce attorney.

Wavier of 6 Month Residency Requirement:

Like civilian divorces, members of the military are subject to the same jurisdictional requirement in order for the Florida courts to have jurisdiction over your marriage and the power to dissolve it. There are, however, some exceptions for military members and their spouses as to the statutory residence requirement, which allows them to seek divorce in Florida or initiate a paternity case without proving their actual presence in the state for six month prior to filing of their petition. One exception is detailed in Florida Statute 47.081 which provides that any person in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, and the husband or the wife of any such person, if he or she is living within the borders of the state, shall be prima facie a resident of the state for the purpose of maintaining any action in Florida.

Military Separation & Retirement Benefits:

In a divorce, voluntary separation and military retirement benefits are subject to equitable distribution. For purposes of valuation the cut-off date is the date of filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage. All retirement points earned on a military pension before the date of marriage or after the date of filing are non-marital.

The 10/10 rule: 10 years of military service that overlaps 10 years of marriage entitles the military spouse to direct payment from the government. If it is less than 10 years, the payment will need to be made by the military member to their spouse. A 20/20/20 spouse (20 years or more marriage; 20 years of military service; and 20 years overlap between military service and marriage) is entitled to full medical, commissary exchange and theater privileges for life. A 20/20/15 former spouse only gets one year of medical benefits.

A thrift savings plan, as well as accrued military leave may be marital assets subject to equitable distribution.

A military pension terminates upon the death of the retired member. However, payments may continue to the surviving spouse if the member elects to insure the pension through a survivor benefit plan. The election must be made within one year of the dissolution and the “deemed election” form must be served upon the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).

Disability Benefits:

In a divorce, disability benefits are typically not subject to equitable distribution, however, disability benefits may be taken into consideration regarding a parties' income as to any alimony award.

Orlando Divorce Attorney:

Call us today to speak directly with one of our experienced Orlando divorce attorneys about your situation. Our attorneys have handled thousands of cases during their legal careers. We work to protect your interests and to assist you in resolving your situation in an effective and efficient manner.