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Jurisdictional Issues In Florida Military Divorce


When a couple decides to divorce, normally the process can be relatively brief, particularly if they have few assets between them. However, if one or both spouses is a servicemember, that process can become much more complex. This is doubly true if you are living on base or in another location where you have few legal ties. Filing your petition in the right jurisdiction is crucial, but it is very easy to make mistakes about how and where. A knowledgeable attorney can help.

Residency Requirements In FL

As in many other states, a couple may not obtain any kind of divorce in Florida until at least one spouse has been resident for at least 6 months. Residency requirements for dissolution of marriage are on the books as a way to ensure that a court has proper jurisdiction over the matter, so that any judgment they make will have the force of law throughout the country. In the early 20th century, they were also used as a way to ensure that those from neighboring states, where fault was required for divorce, could not take easy advantage of Florida’s no-fault law.

Military couples are permitted, in some cases, to access Florida courts before 6 months has passed, in order to file actions like divorce. However, it is important to keep in mind that the court may not be able to rule on certain issues until 180 days have passed, most commonly distribution of property or parenting time (child custody). It is up to each individual as to how early they want to file, but ensuring that you have the right to do so by consulting a knowledgeable attorney is a good idea.

The Right To Hear (And Decide) Your Case

Even if you are able to take advantage of Florida’s residency requirement exemption for military families, it is still important to understand whether or not the state has jurisdiction in all respects. Jurisdiction technically can be divided into three parts: personal, subject matter, and what is often called remedy jurisdiction. In other words, a court must be able to rule on matters involving a specific party, on the specific type of claim being brought, and on whether or not the type of remedy being sought can be granted.

Florida state courts generally can rule on divorces, and on the types of outcomes usually sought in divorce cases. In a military divorce, it is generally recommended to file in one of two places: either where your domicile (legal home) is, or where you have spent the last six months. For example, a person may be legally domiciled in Georgia, but they have spent the last six months living near Homestead Air Force Base in Miami on deployment. Unless there is some peculiarity, they could seek a divorce in either state.

Contact A Hollywood, FL Military Divorce Attorney

Divorce is never easy, but having to contend with extra requirements like jurisdictional issues or deployment can make a military divorce more complex. A Hollywood military divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A. can help to answer any questions you may have about the process. Contact our office today at (954) 963-5900 to schedule a consultation.



Hollywood Military Divorce Attorney
The Law Offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A., is located in Hollywood, FL and serves clients in and around Dania, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, North Miami Beach, Pompano Beach, Miami, Pembroke Pines, Miami Beach, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale, Aventura, Boca Raton, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County.

Office Location

Hollywood Family Law Building

4700 Sheridan St., Suite J
Hollywood, FL 33021
Telephone: 954-963-5900
Fax: 954-985-9811


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