Military Divorce in Jacksonville, FL – 20/20/20 Rule
How does a military divorce differ from a traditional divorce?
military divorce is handled much the same as a traditional divorce in Jacksonville, Florida,
there are a few key differences that separate the two. Specific laws have
been enacted, on both a state and federal level, which are designed to
protect the members of the military while they are serving on active duty.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), for example, was designed
to protect service members against default divorce judgments—as
this would prohibit the other party in the divorce from initiating proceedings
without informing the other spouse. On the opposite side of the coin,
however, several "rules" have also been put into place that
help the spouses of active and retired service members to recover certain
benefits during the separation, including the 20/20/20 Rule and the Ten-Year Rule.
Understanding the General Purpose of the 20/20/20 Rule
When undergoing a military divorce, the spouse of the service member may
be entitled to certain retirement benefits. In order to determine whether
or not they qualify, however, they must meet the requirements of the 20/20/20
Rule—the first being that the
divorce involves a retired military veteran and a dependent spouse. Essentially,
this is just a way to determine whether or not the service member's
former spouse is a dependent, as this would mean that they would be entitled
to all of the same military benefits—including healthcare and commissary
privileges. This rule has been implemented, however, as a way of minimizing
the amount of people who are entitled to the military benefits that are
provided to members of the military and their spouses—as it must
be shown that the marriage was long-lasting.
Understanding the Requirements of the 20/20/20 Rule
The 20/20/20 Rule has been implemented to limit eligibility in regards
to military benefits. This means that the ex-spouse of a retired military
veteran must meet certain requirements in order to secure these benefits.
These requirements are quite simple, as they quite literally take after
the name. The first "20" refers to the number of years that
the couple must have been married. If they have been married for any less
than 20 years, the spouse may not be entitled to full benefits. The second
"20" refers to the number of years that the retired veteran
must have served with the military, as they must have at least 20 years
of service creditable towards retirement. Finally, the last "20"
refers to the number of years in which the marriage overlapped with the
term of service. If any of these requirements are not met, the spouse
will not be able to recover full military benefits.
Contact My Firm's Jacksonville divorce lawyers if you still have questions!
Still have questions about military divorce or the 20/20/20 Rule? If so,
the legal team at Charles E. Willmott, P.A. urges you to contact my firm's
Jacksonville divorce attorneys today. There are several different facets of a military divorce that can
prove to be quite complex, so I make sure that you are fully informed
and aware of your rights—as either a service member or the spouse
of a service member. For this reason, you should not hesitate to pick
up the phone and give me a call today. By
contacting my office at (904) 849-5183, you will have the opportunity to acquire the answers that you are looking
for—it is up to you, however, to take the first step. Additionally,
you can also visit my
Jacksonville military divorce website for more detailed information about this area of family law.