Updated: Oct 28, 2019

Florida requires a person to live in Florida for six months before filing for divorce. Florida courts have recognized an exception to the six month residency rule when a military member is involved. A military member must have a “concurrent intent to be a permanent resident” of Florida. This means a military member does not have to live in Florida but must intend to return to Florida to live after military service.

 

A military member who was a Florida resident before entering the military and never establishes a permanent residence somewhere else is considered a Florida resident.

In contrast, a military member who was a Florida resident at some point in his or her career will be tested by conduct. A court will ask questions such as:

 

Does the military member own a home in Florida or outside of Florida?

Is the military member registered to vote in Florida?

Does the military member tell the military he or she is a Florida resident?

Are any owned vehicles registered in Florida?

 

Depending on the answers to those questions a Florida court will determine if the military member is a Florida resident.

 

What if my spouse have never lived in Florida? Even if your spouse has never lived in Florida he or she may still be subject to Florida courts for purposes of divorce.

 

What if my kids have never lived in Florida? What state can make a decision about child custody and time share is governed by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Even if your kids have never lived in Florida a Florida court may be able to decide custody and time share. Florida courts will look to the kids’ ties or connections to Florida or potentially elsewhere.

 

Jurisdictional questions create complex and any questions should be directed to an attorney with knowledge of family law in that state.

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for educational purposes only. Laws, regulations, and rules constantly change and information is valid for the date published only. No legal advice is given. No attorney client relationship has been formed by reading this entry. Each case is different and you should consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction before undergoing any legal proceeding.

 

 

Often in the course of a divorce one party must seek protection from the other party. This is typically due to domestic violence or threats of domestic violence. Protective order is the name given to a court order which sets conditions on parties’ contact. Common terms to describe a protective order are injunctions or restraining orders. This article addresses military protective orders as well as the types of civilian protective orders (CPO) available in Florida.

 

Military Protective Orders (MPO)(10 U.S.C. § 1567(a)): Federal law allows for commanders to issue a MPO on active duty personnel. A commander can issue an MPO based on their own discretion. MPOs are not enforceable by civilian authorities. A active duty service member who violates an MPO is subject to judicial and non-judicial punishment as permitted by the Uniform Code of Military Justice specifically Article 92. Time limits on the MPO and conditions of the MPO are subject to the discretion of the commander.

 

In contrast here are Florida’s protective orders. These orders are issued by a judge in a court of law.

Typically a person will petition for a protective order. A court may or may not issue a temporary order. Once a petition is filed an evidentiary hearing will be held in front of a judge for both sides to present evidence regarding the petition. A judge will then grant or deny a permanent injunction. If the injunction is granted the judge will set conditions and/or limits on the injunction.

A party subject to the injunction may dissolve an injunction by applying to the court.

 

A party seeking protection may simultaneously seek a MPO and CPO. Under federal law a CPO is enforceable on military installations by military authorities (10 U.S.C. § 1561a).

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for educational purposes only. Laws, regulations, and rules constantly change and information is valid for the date published only. No legal advice is given. No attorney client relationship has been formed by reading this entry. Each case is different and you should consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction before undergoing any legal proceeding.

 

“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"- Abraham Maslow

 

No two families are identical. Likewise, no two divorces are the same. For many years trial was the only solution for divorces. Then came mediation as a tool before trial. Recently collaborative divorce was authorized in Florida and is growing in popularity. Military families in the process of divorce should consider this process as an option for their divorce.

What is collaborative divorce? “The collaborative process is an alternative dispute resolution process unlike any other ADR process in a number of ways.

Each party hires their own attorney, who is typically specially trained in the collaborative process, although that is not a legal requirement at this time.

No one, not the clients or the professionals, can be forced to utilize the collaborative process because it is voluntary for both the parties and the professionals.

While it is possible that litigation could result if the parties are unable to resolve their case, the threat of litigation is not used during the collaborative process.

The result of the disqualification requirement is that the attorneys are dedicated to helping the parties resolve all of the issues in their matter....the attorneys are rarely the cause of the negotiation process breaking down.” - THE COLLABORATIVE LAW PROCESS ACT: THE FUTURE IS NOW, Florida Bar Journal, April 2017.

 

PROS:

- Does not foreclose traditional litigation (i.e. trial, mediation).

- Consideration for agreement occurs over a long period of time not just one or two days.

- Uses team of advisors as part of the process for resolution.

- Private and confidential; information not submitted to court.

- You and your spouse set the schedule not the court.

 

CONS:

- Relatively time consuming compared to other litigation in terms of hours expended.

- Requires two set of attorneys if litigation is required.

- Expensive if collaborative process fails.

 

Why does this matter? Collaborative divorce is another tool for divorcing couples. Is it right for everyone? No, but for those couples who could benefit it is cheaper and faster than traditional litigation.

 

My office focuses on military families going through divorce. For those families this process has additional benefits:

 

- Control over time: no more worrying about PCS orders, TDYs, or deployments disrupting the divorce process.

- Team focus: military members and families are familiar with the power of teams and are more likely to easily integrate into the collaborative process.

- Complexity of military benefits: military benefits (especially retirement) are a complex consideration that lends itself well to the collaborative process.

 

My office will advise you on collaborative process during our consultation and representation.

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for educational purposes only. Laws, regulations, and rules constantly change and information is valid for the date published only. No legal advice is given. No attorney client relationship has been formed by reading this entry. Each case is different and you should consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction before undergoing any legal proceeding.