Tampa Military Divorce Lawyer
Civilian divorces are complex enough. Divorces among military servicemembers are even more complicated. There are jurisdiction laws to contend with, plus these divorces are different in that they are governed by both state and federal law.
There are special considerations involved. The rules are different. That’s why you should contact Westchase Law today and speak to our Tampa military divorce lawyers to guide you through your divorce.
Where to File for Divorce
When it comes to filing for divorce, the court must have jurisdiction. This is easy for civilians, as this often refers to where a person lives. For military personnel, jurisdiction refers to where the person holds legal residence when they are stationed elsewhere. Military members and their spouses typically have three options for jurisdiction:
- The state where the filing spouse lives.
- The state where the military member claims legal residency.
- The state where the military member is stationed.
Keep in mind that jurisdiction controls various aspects of your divorce case. The laws of the state where you file for divorce will govern property distribution, child custody, child support, and other issues.
Benefits in a Military Divorce
A military pension is one of the most important benefits that a servicemember has. This pension is often split in a divorce. Spouses of current and former military members can also receive full medical, commissary, and exchange privileges when:
- The couple was married for at least 20 years.
- The service member has performed 20 years or more of creditable service toward retirement pay.
- The marriage and military service overlapped for at least 20 years.
Alimony, Child Custody, and Child Support
Because the military lifestyle tends to involve frequent moves and long deployments, the non-military spouse is often unemployed or underemployed. This makes the servicemember on the hook for alimony in a divorce.
These frequent deployments also play a role when it comes to child custody. The courts will look at the best interests of the children and usually grant custody to the non-military parent.
Child custody affects child support. Child support is determined by Florida law and is based on all elements of the servicemember’s pay, such as base pay, special pay, and housing allowance. If the military servicemember is frequently deployed, they are not able to have the children for regular visitation. Because this places the childcare burden on the non-military spouse, the military member often has to pay more in child support. This can get complicated, which is why it is important to hire a Florida attorney who understands military divorce.
Contact Westchase Law Today
A military divorce comes with many complications due to the nature of being a servicemember. It’s important to seek legal help so you understand your rights, whether you are military personnel or the spouse of one.
Count on the team at Westchase Law to guide you through the process. We’ll help you understand all the rules that apply. To schedule a consultation with our Tampa military divorce attorneys, call our office at 813-490-5211.