17 Jan Military Service-Members and Divorce in Florida
The divorce process can be complicated, but obtaining a military divorce can be a bit more challenging without proper guidance. There are many issues that only apply to members of the military and their spouses that regular civilians don’t have to deal with.
If you are a member of the military or are married to a member of the military, it’s really important for you to be aware of these issues in order to fully protect yourself throughout the overall divorce process. Some of these issues include jurisdiction, retirement division, health benefits for your spouse and children, relocation, and the Court staying the divorce process if you receive orders for non-local training or deployment. We discuss just a few differences, below.
The first hurdle that members of the military and their spouses encounter when filing for divorce is deciding when and where to file. Some states provide exceptions for residency requirements. But, members of the military and their spouses are not limited to filing only in the state in which they are based. You can also file where you live permanently, where you own property, or where you last lived as a married couple. The state to which you have to most ties is usually the best place to file.
Health benefits for your children
As long as a parent is a member of the military, that parent and his/her children will be provided, health, dental, and ocular insurance by the military at no extra cost via TRICARE. Usually, there are no co-pays. So, if you are divorcing with children, it’s best if the military member provides the health insurance for the kids.
For civilians, there are (typically) not penalties in Florida for infidelity, as it is a “no-fault” state, with few exceptions, such as if there is a waste of marital assets as a result of the infidelity and in some parental responsibility matters, etc.. For members of the military, however, it is a violation of military laws for them to start another relationship while still married, regardless of where they are located.
This rule is strictly enforced for some members of the military, while for most others it would not have much of an effect (outside of ending your current marital relationship). This all depends on their branch of military and supervisors. As a member of the military, you are expected to hold yourself to the highest standards and morals, and infidelity is seen as not meeting those standards.
Delaying divorce for training or deployment
If you are filing for divorce then you are required to declare (typically found in the Petition for Dissolution) whether or not both spouses are members of the military. This ensures that military members are given the priority when it comes to deadlines, telephone calls, and court accommodations. However, keep in mind that it is not necessary for you to put your divorce on hold just because you are going through active duty. The Courts frequently go out of their way to accommodate servicemembers.
If you are considering filing for a divorce and you are in the military, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation. We’d be more than happy to help answer any questions that you may have.