Continuing the Military Divorce Mistakes Countdown to #7
Last time, in “Part 2” of this blog, I continued the list with the mistakes #5 and #6 on a list of detrimental mistakes I often times see clients make with their military divorce before seeking the advice of an experienced family divorce attorney. Today, I’ll continue going down the list of definite “don’ts” associated with those serving in the military who are seeking a divorce.
Top 15 Tampa Military Divorce Pitfalls
Continuing the list at #7, here is a list of the most commonly made costly divorce errors to be avoided when seeking a military divorce.
7. Do not take a default and divide a military pension in Florida against a retired member who is not a resident of Florida. In some cases, a jurisdiction problem can occur that will stop all disbursements on that pension and keep you from receiving your share of the marital pension funds. Under 10 U.S.C. sec. 1408, federal pension jurisdiction only exists if the member is a resident of the state for reasons other than military postings, a domiciliary of the state (has a residence in the state), and consents to jurisdiction as by signing a marital settlement agreement or asking for affirmative relief in state court. You must have pension jurisdiction, or know what state the member legally resides in, otherwise you will run into a loophole that may keep you from receiving the mandated equitable distribution in your military divorce. The member can attack the Florida court’s jurisdiction administratively at DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service), say, by proving he is a legal resident of any other state than the one you took a default in. He says he’s a resident because he owns property there, and voted there and has a drivers license there. Then, when you sue in the state he claimed residency, you may be met with the argument that Florida already distributed the pension pursuant to a default and that the matter has already been decided and is “res judicata”. If this works, you are out of luck and have a pension division order that isn’t enforceable. Ouch.
Next on Tampa Military Divorce
Coming up in Part 4, 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.