Posts

Veterans, Divorce, and Honor

As we memorialize those who died while serving in the armed forces, we also thank the living men and women who protected our freedom.

According to Florida’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs, there are more than 1.5 million veterans living in the state.  And, unfortunately, just like the rest of the population, many of those who served in the military face a dissolution of their marriage.  Yet, many veterans do not know that there is a way they can go through divorce which is private, respectful, and, yes, even honorable.

Hugging the kids

Any veteran going through divorce should learn about the collaborative process.

Read more

Cordover Guest Speaker at Nova Southeastern University

Tampa Collaborative Family Law Attorney Adam B. Cordover was a guest speaker at Nova Southeastern University’s 3-Day Collaborative Training, held November 6-8.  Adam spoke on the topic of “Troubleshooting the Collaborative Divorce Roadmap.”

Attorneys, Mental Health Professionals, and Financial Professionals attended the training, though there was also a large contingent of mental health students.  This conference was meant to kick start a groundbreaking program/clinic where the students would team up with professionals and offer collaborative divorce services to veterans.

Read more

Video: General’s Daughter Discusses Her Peaceful Divorce

Cynthia Schwarzkopf, daughter of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr, discusses how she and her husband utilized the collaborative family law process to dissolve her marriage in a video released by the Tampa Bay Collaborative Divorce Group.

You can see the video below the jump:

Read more

Florida Child Custody, Military Service, and Grandparents’ Rights

If a parent who is the subject of a Florida child custody order is activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service, that military parent may be able to designate the child’s grandparents to care for the child in his or her absence.

Related: Florida Grandparents’ Rights and Collaborative Divorce

Florida Statutes section 61.13002(2) states that, if a military parent so desires, a grandparent can take over that parent’s time-sharing schedule under certain circumstances.  The activation, deployment, or temporary assignment must be ordered for more than 90 days and materially affect the military parent’s ability to exercise his or her time-sharing rights.  The military parent must notify the other parent of the designation in writing.   The written notice must be provided to the other parent at least 10 days before the grandparent is to take over the military parent’s time-sharing.

Read more

The Military, Florida Divorce, and Residency Requirements

Florida Statutes Section 61.021 imposes a residency requirement for divorce cases:  One of the parties must have lived in Florida for at least 6 months prior to the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage.  This generally means that a spouse will have to be physically present in Florida fort six months and have the intent to remain a permanent resident of Florida.

However, Florida does provide exceptions for members of the military.

Read more

Termination of Alimony: Proposed Changes to “Supportive Relationship” Standard

According to current state law, a Florida family law judge has the option to reduce or terminate an alimony award if he or she finds that the ex-spouse receiving payment (the “obligee”) is in a supportive relationship.  The term “supportive relationship” currently has somewhat of a tough standard to overcome.  For example, one factor in determining whether a supportive relationship exists is whether the obligee and his or her current boyfriend or girlfriend call each other “my husband” or “my wife” in public.

In a bid to curtail permanent periodic alimony and ease the ability for a paying spouse (the “obligor”) to modify or reduce his or her alimony obligation, Florida HB 549 proposes many changes to the “Supportive Relationship” standard.  This bill will change current section 61.14(1)(b) of the Florida Statutes as follows (new language is underlined, while deleted language is stricken):

61.14 Enforcement and modification of support, maintenance, or alimony agreements or orders.—
(1)
(b)1. The court must may reduce or terminate an award of alimony if it determines upon specific written findings by the court that since the granting of a divorce and the award of alimony a supportive relationship has existed between the obligee and a person with whom the obligee resides. The court shall make specific written findings that support such a determination. On the issue of whether alimony should be reduced or terminated under this paragraph, the burden is on the obligor to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a supportive relationship exists.

Read more

Video: Basic Allowance for Housing

The following video from the Defense Management Travel Office describes Basic Allowance for Housing, or B.A.H.:

Servicemembers should know that Florida courts take B.A.H. into consideration when determining issues of child support and alimony.  B.A.H. may even be taken into account for matters of spousal support unconnected with dissolution of marriage (such as when a military spouse is not being financially supported yet does not want to initiate a divorce).

If you have questions regarding military issues affecting your family and you wish to speak with a Florida family law attorney, you may schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.

 

Special Issues in Military Divorce

If you are in a family law matter involving a servicemember, you will encounter some unique issues to which you must pay special attention.

Residency Requirement

Generally, one party to a divorce must have been a resident of Florida for at least six months prior to filing.  However, there is an exception for servicemembers.  A servicemember (or his or her spouse) who is not currently in Florida may petition for divorce in Florida if he or she (i) was a Florida resident prior to entering the military and (ii) never established a permanent residence elsewhere.  Even if the military member had not lived in Florida prior to entering the service, he or she may still be able to file for divorce in Florida if he or she is deployed but has an intent to remain a permanent Florida resident.  Such intent may be evidenced by the following: (i) Florida voter registration; (ii) ownership of a Florida home; or (iii) registration of a vehicle in Florida.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Many of the military issues in a divorce stem from the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (the “SCRA”).  The SCRA was signed into law in 2003 and updated and replaced the Soldiers and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940.  Most provisions of the SCRA apply to the following people on active duty:  (i) members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guards; (ii) members of the National Guard; and (iii) commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Read more

Temporary Time-Sharing Modification Due to Military Service

If a parent is activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service, courts have the option of entering a temporary order that modifies a custody order.  That temporary order may provide the non-military parent with more time-sharing.  Due to recent changes to section 61.13002, Florida Statutes, the Court also has the option of designating a family member of the child to exercise time-sharing on behalf of the military parent.  Any temporary modification of the time-sharing will be dissolved once the military parent returns from the service, deployment, or temporary assignment.

Additionally, the temporary order may address child support by taking the following actions:

Read more

Divorce: Is there a Residency Requirement?

Unless one or both parties resided in Florida for at least six months prior to the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage, a Florida judge will not grant the divorce.  This residency requirement is governed by section 61.021, Florida Statutes.

However, there is an exception to the residency requirement for members of the United States Armed Forces.  A member of the military (or his or her spouse) who is not currently in Florida may petition for divorce in Florida if he or she (i) was a Florida resident prior to entering the military and (ii) never established a permanent residence elsewhere.  Even if the military member had not lived in Florida prior to entering the service, he or she may still be able to file for divorce in Florida if he or she is deployed but has an intent to remain a permanent Florida resident.  Such intent may be evidenced by the following: (i) Florida voter registration; (ii) ownership of a Florida home; or (iii) registration of a vehicle in Florida.