Military Divorce Issues
A dissolution of marriage involving active duty military personnel, a retired service person, or his or her spouse involves issues regarding pensions, military benefits and children’s issues. Federal law regarding these matters will apply in your divorce. The Court in Florida may or may not be able to resolve these issues in your case. We represent servicepersons and their spouses located throughout the world because of military assignment or deployment. We will be available to talk and consult with you by email or telephone if necessary. We will make sure we are available for appointments based upon the time zone in which you are located. We give immediate priority to assisting servicepersons and their spouses.
Florida may divide a military pension if the service person is domiciled in Florida, has his/her home of record in Florida, or consents to Florida dividing the pension. The portion of the military pension plan that the spouse who is not in the service may receive depends on multiple factors like the length of military service, the length of the marriage, other pensions and the overall value of the marital estate. The effect of service in the reserves on the pension amount and marital portion of the pension can be especially difficult to calculate. The ten-year rule is one of the most misunderstood parts of the federal law. Simply stated, the spouse will recieve direct payment by DFAS if the marriage was at least 10 years during the course of active military service.
Timing of the divorce may be critical for enforcement of pension rights. The Survivor Benefit Plan is a completed choice that initially must be made at the time of retirement. It is expensive and may or may not be the best option. It is also possible to enroll in the Plan subsequent to retirement. Make sure that your lawyer understands the implications of the Survivor Benefit Plan in your divorce before making an irrevocable decision.
There are other military benefits, a spouse married to a service person for more than 20 years during the course of active military service has rights to health care and other ancillary rights like base access and a military ID card.
The military has a separate criminal code of conduct, called the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Violations of any provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice may result in an informal hearing or a full court martial. You are entitled to legal representation, independent of any legal representation provided through the military. You have important rights against incrimination, and may have a defense to the charges brought against you. Please contact us for an immediate consultation.
Medical Discharge Board
Our law firm has represented service persons of all ranks, in all services for both temporary and permanent medical disability and retirement. You have the right to have a formal board to determine your medical discharge issues. You have the right to challenge any initial determinations. Servicepersons may be asked to accept an evaluation with a full formal board. The evaluation may have lifetime consequences for you. Do not waive a formal board without knowing all of your legal rights.Competent legal advice during the process in a timely fashion may protect your rights. Do not let the VA decide your case without knowing all of your options. Please contact us for an immediate consultation.
Administrative Discharge Board
If you are discharged from active duty military service over your objection, you may have rights to challenge the discharge. As soon as the discharge process has begun against you, please contact us to discuss your rights. Be careful about waiving an administrative discharge board just for the convenience of getting a quick release from military duty. The ramifications may stay with you for a lifetime, affecting your job prospects and other matters. If the discharge has been granted, you may have important appeal rights. There are limited time periods for you to respond. Do not delay as you may lose your rights. Please contact us for an immediate consultation.
Desertion, or absent without leave, may have occured for a number of reasons. Because of that action, you may have limited jobs and other opportunites. If you are tired of "looking over your shoulder" all the time, we will help you get this situation behind you. Our firm will help you arrange a surrender and guide you through the discharge process.