Where one or both spouses of the marriage is or has been a member of the military, unique circumstances exist which are different from a dissolution of marriage where neither party has been in the military.
Where military members are on active duty, the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act prohibits a dissolution of marriage proceeding from moving forward during the entirety of the time the military member is on active duty, and for 60 days thereafter. The active military member's ability to raise the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act may be waived in circumstances where the military member has the desire to simply move through the divorce process notwithstanding active duty.
When a military member is on active duty, service of process must be personally accomplished in order for a Florida court to have jurisdiction over the military member. A signed acknowledgment of service or waiver by the military member can establish appropriate jurisdiction.
In order to obtain a military divorce in Florida, the military member or their spouse must reside in Florida, or the military member must be stationed in Florida. Otherwise, to meet jurisdictional requirements, the marriage must be irretrievably broken.
In addition to the standard Florida equitable property distribution laws, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act dictates how military retirement is calculated and distributed in the event of a dissolution of marriage. The USFSPA is the governing body of law that authorizes a direct payment of a portion of a military retiree's pay to the former spouse.
Child support and alimony in Florida must not be in excess of 60 percent of a service member's earnings and other allowances. Child support guidelines are used to calculate appropriate child support. Alimony is based in large part on need and ability to pay.
Fixed and flat fees are available regarding all family law matters. A free consultation with Pensacola attorney Stan Peeler is available to you at your convenience. If you are in need of a military divorce, or require assistance regarding other family law matters, please contact Peeler Law Firm, PLLC, at 850-432-7705 or email us.