Helping you face military custody, child support and more
Every branch of the military approaches divorce proceedings differently. The average attorney is not going to cut it when dealing with the nuance that comes with navigating the complex world of each individual military branch. Growing up in military families and having a son in the Army means the seasoned divorce attorneys at LaFrance have a personal understanding of the complexities associated with any military family matter.
Can you file for divorce in Florida while you or your spouse is deployed?
Yes, you can. However, it gets a bit more complicated than just a yes/no answer.
People in the military are protected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SRCA), which allows them to delay legal proceedings to focus their attention on the responsibilities of deployment. This does not mean you cannot file. It simply means things might not move as quickly as they normally would, because the deployed spouse has a right to request an extension that will give them more time to respond to the petition.
If you are the military spouse and plan on serving divorce papers while deployed, it’s encouraged that you hold off filing for divorce while deployed, as proceedings will be easier for you when you’re home. If you do choose to move forward, make sure you contact a Florida attorney with military divorce experience.
How does child custody during deployment work?
The best thing you can do is create a child care plan before deployment. Work with an attorney to figure out the best scenario for you, your child(ren) and your ex.
Generally speaking, if the military parent has sole custody of the child, the other parent is most likely to get temporary custody of the child while the other parent is deployed. This is not always the case, especially in emergency situations. That’s why it’s extremely important to get a family lawyer involved as soon as possible, so things are settled before anything changes due to deployment.
Paying child support during deployment
All members of the military must continue to pay child support. Calculating Florida child support may be different from one branch to another, but the fact that it needs to be paid does not change.
Even if there is no formal child support order, deployed military members must pay interim child support, which will be calculated by using gross pay and Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). If they do not make payments on time, the other parent has a right to notify the deployed parent’s commanding officer, and there will be repercussions.
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Military retirement & Divorce: The 10/10 rule explained
The 10/10 rule states that if you have been married to a military member for at least 10 years, and they have served in the military for at least 10 years, you are entitled to a portion of your ex’s military retirement pay.
These payments are not the same as alimony. If you have an alimony agreement, the military retirement payments will be an addition to that payment. However, these payments are somewhat similar to alimony in the sense that the amount can differ depending on your situation. Working with a law firm familiar with military regulations gives you the best chance of receiving or paying your fair share.
Contact the Tampa family law attorneys at LaFrance if you’re ready to move forward.