If you are in the military or married to a member of the Armed Forces you should seek counsel with a lawyer who is familiar with military divorce as there are facets to your divorce that could be different than a non-military divorce.
For non-military personnel to be eligible to file for divorce in Florida, either party must be a Florida resident of greater than six (6) months. However, the Florida Statutes specifically address this: Fla. Stat. §47.081 states “Military, naval, or other service as residence. — Any person in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, and the husband or the wife of any such person, if he or she is living within the borders of the state, shall be prima facie a resident of the state for the purpose of maintaining any action.” However, it’s important to note: per a different statute, if children are involved the children need to have been in Florida for the 180 days prior to the initiation of the action for Florida to have jurisdiction.
Issues that may Affect a Military Divorce in the State of Florida
Your case could potentially require the dividing of military benefits, including but not limited to retirement pension and health insurance. Any time you were a service member or were married to a service member during their career, that credit towards their retirement is marital and may be divided. The infamous “10/10 Rule”, applies, but only how to divide the retirement, not whether or not it may be divided. Federal Law controls this retirement division under USFSPA Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act 10.U.S.C. 1408. More information can be found on the Defense Finance And Accounting Services Page.
Other issues that must be addressed, like a non-military divorce, include parenting, the division of other property (assets and debts/liabilities), alimony, and child support. Other important considerations in a military divorce are extended temporary duty periods, deployments, and future Permanent Changes of Station.