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Military Divorce

Fleming Island Military Divorce Attorney

Protecting the Rights of Military Service Members & Their Spouses

Divorce is a complex process, but when one or both spouses are in the military, the process can become even more complicated. Military divorces involve unique issues, such as determining jurisdiction, dividing military pensions, and calculating child support when one parent is deployed overseas.

At Owenby Law, P.A., we understand the unique challenges that military families face when going through a divorce. Our Fleming Island military divorce lawyers are here to help you navigate the process and protect your rights every step of the way.

Contact us today at  to let our firm help you through this challenging time.

What Makes Military Divorce Different?

A military divorce is a dissolution of marriage involving at least one spouse who is an active-duty service member or retired from the military. These divorces have unique aspects due to the nature of military service, which can influence various aspects of the divorce proceedings.

Here are some common issues related to military divorces:

  • Deployment and Service Requirements: Deployments, frequent relocations, and the demands of military service can strain marriages and impact custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and overall family stability.
  • Jurisdictional Challenges: Determining which state has jurisdiction over the divorce proceedings can be complicated, especially if one or both spouses are stationed in different states or countries.
  • Division of Military Pensions and Benefits: The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) governs the division of military pensions and benefits, specifying conditions under which the former spouse may be entitled to a portion of the service member's retirement pay.
  • Child Custody and Support: Military service can significantly affect child custody and support arrangements, especially during deployments or relocations. The service member's unpredictable schedule may necessitate specific provisions to accommodate custody agreements.
  • Healthcare and Benefits: Military spouses may lose access to certain benefits like healthcare coverage once the divorce is finalized. The duration of eligibility for benefits post-divorce depends on various factors, including the length of the marriage and the service member's years of service.
  • Relocation Issues: When a military service member is reassigned or relocated, it can impact visitation schedules, custody arrangements, and overall family dynamics, requiring modifications to existing court orders.
  • Support Payments: The calculation of spousal support or alimony may be influenced by the service member's income, allowances, and housing benefits.
  • Military Housing: Determining who gets to stay in on-base housing or the division of housing allowances can be part of the divorce settlement.

These issues often require a nuanced understanding of military regulations and state laws. Seeking legal counsel experienced in military divorces can be imperative to navigating the complexities and ensuring fair outcomes for both parties involved.

How Long Do You Have to Be Married to Get Half of a Military Pension?

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) governs the division of military pensions in divorce cases. It does not automatically entitle a former spouse to half of a military pension after a specific duration of marriage.

Instead, the USFSPA allows states to treat military pensions as marital property subject to division during divorce proceedings. The length of the marriage is a factor in determining whether a former spouse is eligible for a share of the military pension, but there's no set requirement for an exact 50% split.

Generally, if the marriage overlaps with the service member's military service for at least 10 years, it opens the possibility for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to make direct payments to the former spouse. However, the court has discretion in deciding how much of the pension a former spouse may receive based on various factors, including but not limited to:

  • Duration of the marriage overlapping military service: Marriages lasting at least 10 years during the service member's military service may allow direct payment of the pension to the former spouse by DFAS, but the actual division percentage is determined by the court.
  • State laws: While Florida doesn't have specific formulas for dividing military pensions, the court assesses various factors to determine a fair distribution. These factors include the duration of the marriage, each spouse's contributions, their financial circumstances, and other relevant aspects of the case. Unlike community property states that often split assets 50/50, Florida's equitable distribution aims to achieve a fair outcome considering the individual circumstances of the divorcing couple. Therefore, the division of a military pension in Florida divorces isn't solely based on the length of the marriage, but rather on a holistic evaluation by the court.
  • Other assets and agreements: Courts consider the overall distribution of assets and agreements between the divorcing parties. A fair division might involve other assets or compensatory arrangements in lieu of a direct split of the pension.
  • Contributions and circumstances: The court may also consider factors such as each spouse's contributions to the marriage, earning capacity, financial needs, and any other relevant circumstances.

It's essential to consult with a divorce attorney experienced in military divorces to understand the specific laws in your state and how they apply to your situation. Each case is unique, and the division of a military pension depends on various factors beyond just the duration of the marriage.

Get the Legal Support You Need

At Owenby Law, P.A., we understand the unique challenges that military families face when going through a divorce. Our Fleming Island military divorce lawyers are here to help you navigate the process and protect your rights every step of the way.

Call or contact us online to request a confidential consultation.

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The Benefits of Hiring Owenby Law, P.A.

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