Florida Family Law and Military Servicemen and Servicewomen


A divorce involving military families from or in Jacksonville, Florida can be complex because a military divorce has distinct issues that can involve Florida and federal law. Generally, dissolution of marriage is governed by the laws of the State of Florida, but the federal government has enacted legislation that applies to divorces and family law matters involving servicemen and servicewomen. Federal law governs when a military proceeding may take place, under what circumstances it may be postponed and how active military personnel may be served. Florida law also provides residency requirements for military families.

Child support in Florida is based on the child’s best interests and alimony is based on several factors. The factors a court will consider while determining property alimony award if any, are: (a) standard of living during the marriage, (b) duration of the marriage, age, physical and emotional condition of each party,(c) financial resources of each party, (d) liabilities and how they are distributed, and (e) contribution of each party to the marriage. Similar to a court dissolving a non military marriage, a court must make special findings as to a military member’s pay and allowances.

Similar to all dissolutions of marriage in Jacksonville, Florida, property division in a military divorce is based on the equitable distribution of marital assets. When spouses have inherited property, obtained significant assets or debts and have complex retirement/ pension plans, the marriage will be harder to dissolve. A military divorce that includes military retirement benefits will be governed by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act.

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