My Spouse and I Reside in Different States
A common scenario in military divorce cases is for one spouse to have a duty station in one state, while the other spouse is living in another state. Depending on the “residency requirements”, you can choose to file in the state in which you are located or the state in which your spouse is located. This matters because divorce laws vary from state to state on things such as asset and debt division, alimony, child custody and child support. In short, it’s important to consider how each state’s varying laws will affect the outcome of your case and choose accordingly.
Do You Have Children?
In cases involving children, the default state to address any custody dispute or determination will be the children’s “home state”, i.e., where the children have resided for six months prior to filing.
Which State is Most Favorable?
In cases that do not require a custody determination, you should obviously choose the state that will be most favorable for your desired outcome. For example, one state may be more favorable for spousal support (Florida lawmakers recently abolished permanent alimony), while in the other state, the division of assets and debt may favor one spouse over the other. You will have to decide on where to file based upon such considerations. Your attorney will provide you with the relevant facts to aid in your decision.
The Greatest Overall Benefit
We do encourage clients to start by considering the jurisdiction with laws beneficial to the overall outcome. During a cooperative and collaborative divorce process, the parties work to agree on all matters. This includes determining which jurisdiction will yield the greatest overall benefit. It should also be noted that Florida is a no-fault state, which does not require a waiting period or cause as to why one or both parties believe the marriage is broken beyond repair.
Working with an attorney who is experienced with the intricacies of military divorce in Florida, as well as other states, will considerably increase your chances of getting a desirable outcome that is tailored for your unique circumstances.
Attorney O’Connor is experienced with Florida military divorce and is available to serve you in Tampa Bay, Brandon, Kissimmee, Lakeland, Plant City, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Polk County and Osceola County.