There are several issues which are of particular significance at the end of a military marriage:
- division of military retirement benefits
- whether the husband or wife is on active duty
- child support calculation
Firstly, under Florida law, a military pension is a marital asset if the marriage occurred during the spouse’s military service and is subject to division under the laws governing equitable distribution. As a result, the division of a military pension can be quite confusing. A complex formula involving the length of military service, length of the marriage, and the duration of the overlap is used to calculate the non-servicemember spouse’s share of the military pension. Further complications arise if the servicemember has spent time in the Reserves or is not yet retired.
Secondly, The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 allows for the postponement of a civil action (including a paternity or divorce) for at least 90 days. Additional postponements can be requested due to the servicemember’s deployment status. An experienced military divorce lawyer can explain this law to you.
Lastly, housing allowance, overseas pay, hazardous duty pay and other types of pay are considered income for the purpose of calculating child support. As a result, a servicemember’s current assignment or deployment status can greatly affect the child support calculation. A careful review of the servicemember’s Leave and Earnings Statement should be done by an experienced attorney who can then explain your rights and obligations under the Florida Child Support Guidelines.
Please contact an experienced military divorce lawyer in Jacksonville FL to help you with these unique issues.