Military Divorce Attorney in Jacksonville
Helping Military Service Members and Their Spouses Navigate Divorce in Florida
Military families have specific needs that have to be met when they are undergoing a divorce. Divorce is never an easy situation, but when one individual is on active duty, it could prove to be even more difficult than a typical civilian divorce.
Dedicated to Representing Military Families Facing Divorce
I put a significant amount of effort into helping military members and their spouses undergo a divorce to make it as smooth of a process as possible. I am a Board-Certified lawyer who has proudly developed the capability and experience to handle military divorces.
I support military members and their spouses through each step of the process and stage of the divorce, no matter his or her rank or branch of service.
Contact us today for the compassionate representation you need for your military divorce.
Thorough Representation for Military Families in Florida
At Charles E. Willmott, P.A., I understand that military clients have busy lives and they want their questions answered in a timely manner. I strive to return phone calls on the day that my client calls and I will make every effort to do whatever it takes to successfully accomplish a case.
Not every lawyer can effectively handle military divorce issues and the disputes that arise with them. Even if you or your spouse is pursuing a divorce while deployed, my office can help you through the process. We can suit your scheduling needs with meetings over phone or through email.
I have been BV-rated and was Chairman of Jax Bar Family Law Section 2003 to 2010. My experience handling these situations has earned me credibility as a Jacksonville military divorce lawyer in my community.
Challenges While Getting a Divorce in the Military
A military divorce is difficult when compared to a typical situation. That is because there are many laws, both state and federally, that apply. These specific laws are designed to protect military members while they are serving.
- The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) - (SCRA) was designed to protect service members against default judgments so that they are not in a divorce without being aware that proceedings have begun. The active duty member must be personally served with the summons.
- Child support - Issues surrounding child support may arise in a military divorce.
- State residence - In order to obtain a divorce in this state, one of the spouses must reside in Florida and the active duty spouse must be stationed in Florida.
- Property division - Specific rules apply when the divorce involves a military family.
As a Jacksonville FL military divorce lawyer, I can help your family undergo a military divorce. I can answer questions and provide guidance as to what to do if you are deployed and served with divorce papers.
What is the 20/20/20 Benefits Rule?
You will need guidance on how to protect your retirement benefits and understand what you are entitled to under the 20/20/20 rule. These benefits and the rules governing a military divorce can be discussed by my firm. The 20/20/20 full benefits rule includes former spouses of service members. These individuals are entitled to all military benefits, including access to medical care, commissaries and military exchanges.
Continued Military Benefits
Many issues come about when a service member and his or her spouse make the decision to dissolve their marriage. One of the primary concerns both parties have in a divorce pertains to the benefits that they are eligible for even after the divorce.
The military spouse can be specifically concerned with this situation and anxious to understand what benefits carry over after divorce. At Charles E. Willmott, P.A., it is my goal to help clients gain a better understanding of what benefits continue after divorce and which do not.
If you are a member of the military, you probably have many questions concerning the benefits that will continue after divorce. There are a few common issues that my firm can help military members fully understand.
- Issues that the military member may be concerned with include:
- What to do if served with divorce papers while deployed
- What the Ten-Year Rule means and how to protect retirement benefits
- How divorce affects the home and Veterans Affairs (VA) exemptions
- How concurrent pay and VA disability will affect retirement benefits
- Proper calculations of support based on BAH, BAS, and special pays
Spouses of military members typically have other areas of concern. They are more focused on what benefits they will still have after divorce, even though the marriage is being dissolved.
- Common concerns that a military member's spouse may have when contemplating divorce include:
- Whether or not he / she will keep health insurance and other benefits
- What the retirement rights are after divorce, including survivor benefit plans
- How VA disability will affect the individual's share
- What is still available after divorce under the 20 / 20 / 20 rule.
- What is required to protect the survivor benefit package after the divorce
- How to ensure that children will be protected with SGLI and Tricare benefits
Former Spouse Protection
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) does not automatically provide a former spouse with the military member's retirement pay. The law does, however, permit the state to view military disposable retirement pay as marital property.
Therefore, the disposable military retirement pay can be divided during the divorce proceeding. During a military divorce, retired pay can be divided for property settlement purposes or be garnished for child support or alimony payments.
Under the USFSPA, a former spouse can receive survivor benefit plan benefits. This allows retired service members to provide monetary assistance to the beneficiary after death. If the beneficiary is a former spouse, the court or military member can choose to allow continued benefits for this individual.
Former spouses are also allowed to receive commissary and healthcare benefits after a divorce under certain conditions. If the marriage lasted for 20 years and the military member served for 20 years, the spouse may be entitled to full benefits.
Contact Jacksonville Military Divorce Lawyer Charles E. Willmott
Military benefits are not understood by all divorce attorneys. It is a specific area that requires special attention. There is a unique procedure that must be taken to protect your rights to a survivor benefit plan. Military retirement benefits are especially important to know about and understand.
My office can help you if you are out-of-state or out-of-country by communicating through email or over the phone. I can also discuss the option of your appearance at court hearings through a phone call.
If you are in the military and going through divorce, call Charles E. Willmott, P.A. to speak to our Jacksonville military divorce attorney today about protecting your rights!