Why knowledge, skill matter in military divorce cases

With the Fourth of July now less than a week away, people are undoubtedly busy solidifying their plans from attending parades to watching fireworks. No matter how people choose to celebrate our nation's adoption of the Declaration of Independence, chances are good that at some point their thoughts will turn to those brave men and women serving in the armed forces.

A large part of our gratitude for these individuals comes from the recognition of the great personal sacrifice that often accompanies their service. For example, many will be deployed to points near and far, something that can take a very real toll on their families left behind.

Indeed, the unfortunate reality is that the stresses of military life can sometimes put too much of a strain on marriages, such that couples have no choice but to go their separate ways.

In the event this difficult decision is made, it's imperative for the spouses to understand that a military divorce is typically more complex than a traditional dissolution of marriage. Nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to the issue of "disposable retired pay."

What exactly is "disposable retired pay?"

As you might have surmised, disposable retired pay is the total monthly payment to which retired servicemembers are entitled after accounting for things like federal debt repayment, disability pay, forfeitures, fines, etc.

Are civilian spouses entitled to a portion of disposable retired pay?

Over 30 years ago, Congress passed the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act -- otherwise known as the USFSPA. This law provided some much-needed protection to civilian spouses by permitting the individual states to treat disposable retired income as marital property subject to division in a divorce.

Furthermore, the USFSPA allows civilian spouses ultimately awarded any portion of disposable retired pay to secure direct payment from the retired pay center, which in most cases is Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

We'll continue this discussion in our next post …

As you can see from the foregoing, military divorce is a complicated area of family law requiring both skill and knowledge. If you believe that your attorney made grievous errors in your military divorce or otherwise failed you in some capacity, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional to learn more about your options.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email us for a response

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy



Jacksonville Office
1300 Riverplace Boulevard
Suite 401
Jacksonville, FL 32207

Toll Free: 866-542-1996
Phone: 904-396-1996
Fax: 904-396-1991
Map & Directions

Miami Office
1395 Brickell Avenue
Suite 800
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: 305-200-8674
Phone: 305-200-8675
Fax: 305-200-8801
Map & Directions

West Palm Beach - By Appointment Only
301 Clematis Street
Suite 300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Phone: 561-832-5991
Fax: 561-832-5985
Map & Directions

Panama City Office
305 Cherry Street
Panama City, FL 32401

Phone: 850-481-1386
Fax: 850-640-1247
Map & Directions

Tampa Office
10150 Highland Manor Drive
Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33610

Fax: 813-314-2163
Map & Directions