Top 15 Tampa Military Divorce Mistakes (Part 1)

Why is a Military Divorce Different?

There are many different factors that make a Tampa military divorce different from a traditional adversarial divorce. With a military divorce there are differences in benefits and pension disbursements over time and rank changes, and even the current residence of the person serving our country may be in flux. That’s why my latest series of blogs will focus on the top 15 mistakes people make when filing for a divorce involving a member of the military.

Top 15 Tampa Military Divorce Pitfalls

There are many legal mistakes you can make when filing for a Tampa military divorce. Here is a list of the most commonly made costly divorce errors to be avoided.

1. Do not neglect to mention that you or your spouse are on active duty in your petition. If your spouse fails to respond to your petition for divorce after being served with process, the courts will require you (not your spouse) to supply an affidavit showing whether or not your spouse is in the service of the military and showing necessary facts to support your affidavit. The courts will not issue judgement in your case without it. Knowingly filing a false affidavit is a federal crime, so it’s easiest to handle these details in your petition.

2. Do not forget to plead long-arm jurisdiction when serving out of state. If you are filing through the Florida courts and need to have the respondent served process outside of Florida, you must claim long-arm jurisdiction in your initial pleading.

3. Do not attempt to bypass the Hague Convention to serve process outside of the United States. To Serve someone outside of the United States you must, in all cases, follow the letter of the law in regards to the Hague Convention. You could technically start an international incident. This actually gets into a subject I’d like to delve deeper into in another blog and isn’t brief enough to be “Top 15” friendly. Read more about this in this Florida Bar News article.

4. Do not forget to scrutinize the military pension. In many cases, this is the most valuable marital asset in a long term military marriage. According to pay tables, an 0-6 (like a Captain or Colonel), can easily receive over $2,000,000 in pension benefits that are eligible for consideration under equitable distribution.

Next on Tampa Military Divorce

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll continue counting down the treacherous list of “don’ts” when considering a Tampa military divorce.If you are thinking of a divorce with military concerns, consult with a lawyer who has experience in collaborative divorce, mediation, and traditional adversarial divorce so you can receive insight on which type of divorce may be right for you. Seek out Tampa divorce attorneys with the knowledge you need. Seek out S. David Anton of Anton Legal Group.

David Anton is a third generation Tampa Bay attorney who has handled all aspects of dissolution actions since 1985.

To schedule your military divorce consultation, call the Anton Legal Group at 813-443-5249.