Military Divorce in Florida

soldier with bible over american flag

Divorce is undoubtedly one of the most stressful life situations and a traumatic event for all family members.

However, it is far more traumatic to be constantly in an atmosphere of significantly disturbed, disordered, and unacceptable mutual relationships.

It takes two to form a partnership and one to divorce, and that is a fact that must be respected. You must lift your head, learn a lesson, and move on with your life.

Many dysfunctional marriages have remained uninterrupted so that the spouses are not exposed to condemnation, criticism, moralization, ridicule, and underestimation by the environment in which they live.

Under such constraints, many people have stayed in unhappy marriages for years. However, over time, the situation became less rigid, so marital failure became permissible in cases of fraud or domestic violence, alcoholism, addiction, and other situations like incompatibility, due to different emotional strings, conflicting decisions, life needs, career, or similar reasons.

Divorce is an opportunity for growth and change, for a fresh start and a revision of old patterns. Use it as a blessing and strive for healthier and more honest, and conscious living situations.

Building a tolerable and civilized relationship with your ex-partner is also important for you and your children because the partnership ends, but the responsibility of parenthood remains.

From a broader social perspective, civilian divorce is a specific situation, but things get even more complicated when dealing with a military divorce in Florida.

Military divorce proceedings are complicated and time-consuming because apart from the state laws that apply, spouses have to follow specific federal statutes too. So, based on your state of residence, where you serve, or where your spouse serves, specific divorce laws must be followed.

Many military families tend to move a lot across the country, so when a separation is initiated, the military divorce case gets dragged all throughout their moves and deployments.

Florida Military Divorce Laws Applied

Unlike civilian divorces with state laws, military divorces have different divorce laws that spouses have to follow. This is part of the federal law that imposes unique rules on the spouses.

Military divorce in Florida is an area of state law that has been quickly developing in recent years. Lawmakers are actively working on the divorce proceedings to make them less complex. However, this process still presents unique challenges, and spouses who want to proceed with it need to seek legal advice.

The laws that govern military divorce proceedings in Florida are varied and complex. So, it is crucial to work with an attorney who practices in this particular area of the law. This is especially important for initiating a divorce in Florida as the laws here are different than more places, especially when it comes to a military divorce process.

Military Divorce Processes by Florida Law

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Getting a military divorce in Florida by law must factor in military retirement benefits, full military medical benefits, survivor benefit plan, child custody, and financial support.

Deciding on these things isn’t simple because federal law proceedings apply to each military member on active duty.

If you are currently in the process of divorcing your military spouse and you are a Florida resident, follow our guide on the specific laws in the Sunshine State.

Protection by Florida law from military divorce proceedings

The divorce for a military member is regulated by federal laws like the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and partially by Florida Statute.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act was formed to protect the military spouse on active duty from civil procedures and default judgments if they cannot attend a hearing in the Florida court due to being away for service.

Due to this Act, a military member is allowed to postpone the Florida divorce proceedings until they return home from deployment.

This protects the military service personnel and allows them to have a fair divorce trial and follow the family law matters without obstruction.

Different laws explained

Many people are confused when they have to comply with both state and federal laws for their divorce process. Here is the division of laws and the different areas they cover.

The federal law covers military pensions and retirement pay, while the state law governs alimony, child custody, spousal support, and child support.

Residency requirements

To be able to file a military divorce in Florida, both the military spouse and their partner need to be legal residents in the state. To meet the state’s residency requirements, at least one of the spouses has to have lived in the state for at least six months. Only then the Florida court will issue a divorce decree, and the divorce papers can be served.

Serving an active military spouse

Filing for a divorce after being married to military personnel differs from filing a civilian divorce case. The serving of the documents on the active-duty spouse is different, and they can only be served by a person officially authorized by law or appointed by the court.

This process is relatively easy to achieve if the military member is not deployed overseas. This personal service will not be needed if the service member agrees to sign an affidavit waiving this service.

The base for a military divorce in the Sunshine State

hand signing divorce papers

The state of Florida has two no-fault grounds for ending a marriage: the irreversible breakdown of the marriage or the incurable mental illness of one of the spouses.

If one of the spouses objects to the divorce or the spouses have children who are minors, then the court will either refer the spouses to qualified consultation or extend the whole process and give a chance for the partners to reconcile.

The division of property

Florida carries the division of property according to the principle of equitability, which means all assets are divided fairly between the spouses on the basis of their contribution.

If the judge believed this distribution to be unfair, they would consider marriage duration, each spouse’s economic circumstances, and property dissipation as other factors for division of property.

Child custody under Florida law

Child custody and other support matters are included when a divorce is carried out and the spouses have children. Under the Former Spouses Protection Act, the court always prioritizes the children’s best interests.

Depending on the matters that the judge takes into account, one or both of the parents will be responsible for the financial support of their children.

For military members, the share of financial support goes up to 60% of their yearly pay.

Spousal support

Under Florida law, if the court sees fit, it may grant alimony to one of the spouses. This is only if the spouse’s financial resources aren’t enough to maintain a decent living standard. Factors that influence the court’s alimony decisions are the length of the marriage, the spouse’s ability to meet their needs, and the value of each spouse’s property.

The spousal support, regardless of the aforementioned factors, is limited. It can be appointed as a rehabilitative, durational, permanent, or bridge-the-gap type.

As with child support, the military member may only be appointed to pay spousal support for up to 60% of a service member’s allowances and pay and not more than that.

If the court appoints a bridge-the-gap alimony type, then the military spouse is requested to pay their former spouse for up to 2 years.

The rehabilitative alimony is appointed for a certain amount of time which depends on the former spouse’s ability to get the necessary employment skills and get a job to support themselves.

The durational alimony will not exceed the length of the marriage, while the permanent one is awarded for the duration of life of the non-military spouse.

The alimony payments cease when one of the ex-spouses dies or the dependent party enters a new marriage.

How to rebuild your life

taking wedding ring off

Each relationship is unique, with high points, low points, rough edges, whims, and idiosyncrasies. But not every relationship survives. Even if you have sworn eternal fidelity and love to each other, the final consequence can be that you do not manage to survive all the crises and accept all your partner’s character traits in a marriage. When divorce is inevitable, it is a matter of rebuilding one’s life. This is not easy. But it can work.

Uncomplicated and uncontested divorces can exist. If both partners agree and the money is not a point of contention, it can work. Even good friendships between former spouses are conceivable. But this ideal state is rather an exception. Divorces are often accompanied by injuries and wounds from the past.

Next, please

Studies show a picture that is not surprising. Men and women handle divorce differently. However, there are commonalities when it comes to fears of financial burdens. Here, it is both men and women who worry. To overcome the pain of separation, women, on the whole, tend to stay alone for the time being and wait with a new partner. Men not infrequently choose the opposite path. A new girlfriend promises a better life after the divorce for many men. This may well be the case, but it is also a mechanism of repression. This assumption is underlined by figures that show that relationships rarely last long shortly after the divorce.

How it works

Do you remember what an important part of your marriage was? Often, it’s shared rituals. Most commonly, especially if the marriage includes children, the transition after divorce is difficult. Whether it’s breakfast together that’s missing or the story to go to sleep used to be a natural part of the day, all that is now missing.

However, there are ways to deal with this new situation. Even in a new situation, familiar things can have a place.

Introduce rituals for yourself. Things that help you feel safe even a short time after the divorce. Rituals serve as points of orientation much more than you might initially assume.

Keep in regular contact with your child. Phone calls, meetings, and outings are important to continue to participate in.

If you are a single father, allow your ex-wife to have regular contact, even if you still feel pain. The more complicated your interactions with your ex-partner become, the more your child will suffer.

Try to avoid a one-sided perpetrator-victim view. You can see yourself exclusively as a victim or as an “evil” perpetrator. It doesn’t change the fact that separation always involves both partners. Who bears which responsibility in the divorce may be significant for you for a while. At some point, however, such thoughts slow you down and prevent you from dealing positively with what the future holds.

How to deal with life after a military divorce

lawyer shares house property owners

You need to practice self-love

Due to the enormous amount of energy released in becoming conscious, many women feel overwhelmed by a strong wave of energy after a while.

Now they feel the need to make up for everything they missed out on in marriage, everything they couldn’t or didn’t get before due to lack of support or other interests, marital obligations, or other reasons.

Suddenly they want to enjoy life to the fullest: go out, have fun, meet new people. They want to travel to new places and explore new worlds, engage in the things they love and enjoy, gain new knowledge and master new challenges and devote themselves to your career that they may have neglected before.

Now, suddenly, they can do anything they want, and the very fact that they don’t have to justify what they do, that they don’t have to explain anything to anyone or agree to compromises, gives them a new experience of freedom that becomes an important factor in their lives.

In a way, the philosophy of life also changes fundamentally.

Stop analyzing, and don’t torture yourself with wrong conclusions.

Now is the time to turn to yourself and be your greatest and strongest support and your friend.

Remember that you can only love and accept others if you love and accept yourself.

Look at divorce as an opportunity to connect with yourself, to accept and love every part of yourself, because only then can you understand and accept others around you.

Surround yourself with positive people who love you and who will always support you no matter what.

Do not compare yourself with other people

Don’t compare yourself to other marriages, divorces, and situations.

These are not your stories, we are all different, and everyone lives in their way with their choices and their reasons as they know best. Instead, choose to think positively and encourage yourself.

Remember that love is not measured or compared and that you both need to get on with life.

Admit to yourself that part of your life is over and that you have come to the end of the journey with this person.

That you have learned from each other exactly what you needed to, and that you have had enough time to change yourself and your life with the lessons you have learned through this experience. It is entirely up to you how you proceed, not your ex-partner.

Loving and understanding yourself can work wonders in the fight against jealousy and envy.

So think about your virtues and realize what makes you unique and lovable. Then you will worry less about what others have and what you don’t have.

Don’t blame your ex-partner for everything

Sometimes it will be very difficult not to talk badly about your ex-partner.

But you must not do that. No matter what your ex-partner has done, the children will love him because he is their parent. If you make inappropriate comments in front of the children, you will only confuse them, and that will cause them more pain and suffering than necessary.

Avoid blaming the other party, imposing and shifting blame, and stirring up remorse.

Instead, look deep inside yourself and accept the whole situation, yourself and the person you were married to.

Like the other side, you did the best you knew how with all the knowledge, feelings, and experiences you had at the time.

Chances are, at some point, children will take someone’s side.

Maybe they heard something, decided on their own, or misunderstood. All you can do is slowly correct the facts and let your children know that you love them no matter what.

Divorce is one of those things that people tend to blame others for.

No one decides to divorce for no reason, don’t be hard on others.

Try to move on and take care of yourself, pamper yourself, spend time with friends, or go shopping, do whatever makes you happy.

Love is waiting for you even after divorce

woman having date

There will come a time when some things will change without you even realizing it.

You will be out with friends, and you will find yourself in a situation where you are talking and flirting with a new person.

Sex life after divorce is something completely different. When you start a new relationship with a new person, everything will be new for you, and you will feel freedom and excitement.

You will have self-confidence, you will have a fulfilling sex life, and you will feel wonderful.

You will fall in love again, and when you do, you will have the opportunity to do many things differently.

As much as divorce seems to be the end, it was also a new beginning. It is, however, an opportunity to have the life you want.

But first, you need to be aware of your past mistakes, and you need to understand them and try to avoid them.

In the end, there is no magic formula when it comes to divorce. But one thing should be clear: life goes on, even if it sounds trite. Ex-partners who still harbor resentment even 15 or 20 years after the divorce have missed the opportunity to move on.

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