Practicing in Jacksonville, Florida has afforded me the honor of representing service members and their families. The term “military divorce” is often utilized on the Internet, but what does it mean? A military divorce is actually handled much like a regular divorce subject to federal statutes designed protect service members and provide a framework for distributing military benefits in a divorce. This blog post discusses some of the major topics that arise in a military divorce, but it’s not intended to be an exhaustive discussion. If you have specific questions, it’s important to discuss them with a Jacksonville, Florida military divorce attorney who is familiar with military divorce law.

military and divorce

Service Members Relief Act (“SCRA”)

The purpose Service Members Relief Act (“SCRA”) is to protect service members from the negative consequences of not being able to participate in legal proceedings as a result of the service member’s active duty service requirements. The most common example is deployment in foreign county, such as Afghanistan.  SCRA stays proceedings to allow a service member to focus on serving our county without worry of a default being entered against the service member.

Military Pensions & Benefits

The law related to distribution military pension and benefits is, in my opinion, the most complicated area of law in all areas of family law, because distribution of military pensions and benefits are governed by both state and federal law.  A military pension is usually the most valuable asset in the marriage. The following factors all need to be considered: 1) length of the marriage and service; 2) distributing pensions in a fixed dollar amount vs. a percentage ; 3) the availability of pension defenses for the service; 4) indemnification provisions to prevent waiver of regular disability in the event the service member becomes disabled; 6) picking the correct date to value the military pension.

Years of Marriage Necessary for Eligibility for Direct Payment of Military Retirement & Benefits to a Divorced Spouse

10/10 Marriage

To be eligible for division of retirement pay paid directly to the divorced spouse, the divorced spouse must have been married to the service member for at least 10 years while the service member served 10 years of service.

20/20/15 Marriage

In a marriage when the service member served 20 years and the marriage lasted 20 years, but marriage overlapped the period of service between 15 years and 19 years, the divorced spouse is entitled to full military medical benefits for a transitional period of one year following the divorce.

20/20/20 Marriage

A divorced spouse who was married to a service member for 20 years while the service member serviced 20 years is entitled to full commissary, exchange and health care benefits. To be entitled to full benefits, the marriage and the member’s service must overlap by 20 years.

Contact a Military Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL 

If you are a service member or married to service member and have questions about military divorce in the Jacksonville, Florida area, do not hesitate to contact my office for an initial free consultation. Christopher M. Taylor is your military divorce attorney in Jacksonville, Florida and Duval, Clay and St. Johns Counties.




Modification of Child Support in Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville Child Support Law Office

In my practice I represent and receive calls from fathers who are experiencing financial difficulty because their income has been reduced, usually through no fault of their own, yet their child support obligation remains the same. Many times, their current child support payment was calculated based on a higher income or erroneously calculated at the outset. What is most disturbing to me as a lawyer is that much of the financial difficulty from a child support that does not match the father’s income could have been alleviated had the father promptly modified his child support order when the substantial change in economic circumstances occurred.  Too often fathers wait years, accruing thousands of dollars in child support arrearages before they seek to modify their child support obligation.

Here are some suggestions:

1)      When you experience a substantial downward change in your income, promptly file a petition to modify your child support obligation.

Quick action is extremely important. Don’t wait for your savings to be depleted or you accrue significant child support arrearages before you seek legal counsel.

2)      Hire a Jacksonville, Florida Child Support Lawyer

While it is possible to represent yourself, a child support attorney will know how to properly file the petition, what documents you need to provide to the other side, and how to properly calculate child support. While I can never guarantee a result, in many cases fathers actually save money in the long run by having counsel properly and promptly move a petition to modify child support through the court process.

3)      Don’t be hesitant or embarrassed to modify your child support obligation. 

If you have questions about modification of child support in Jacksonville, Florida, do not hesitate to call (904) 339-LAW8 (5298) or you can contact The Taylor Law Office  through this website.