Assisting Clients With Legal Malpractice Cases In Military Divorce
Handling a divorce involving military personnel is not like handling a typical divorce. The laws, rules and procedures that apply to military personnel are complex. If your divorce involves a military personnel member and you believe it was mishandled, reaching out to an attorney with knowledge in this area of law is vital.
4 Common Mistakes In Handling Military Divorces
The special circumstances of military divorce can make for several common mistakes in legal representation, including the following:
1. Issues involving distribution of military pensions
The failure to distribute a military pension, or receive proper consideration for waiving it, is a significant error in a military divorce. In Florida, all vested and non-vested pensions or retirement benefits are considered marital property in a divorce. They are subject to division, via equitable distribution.
2. Distribution of military pensions without a qualified order
Military pensions must be distributed in a fixed dollar amount or a percentage and stipulated in an agreement. If it is not, the amount could be subject to interpretation which, in turn, could result in unnecessary, expensive litigation.
3. Failing to remember when military pensions terminate
Federal law mandates that a married service member choose a survivor benefit plan when he or she retires.
If the parties later divorce, the former spouse is no longer covered under the survivor benefit plan. However, the service member can still elect to include the former spouse as the beneficiary but it must be done by a court order and within one year of the remarriage.
4. Mishandling of military divorces involving service members with 20 years of service
When an individual has served in the military for at least 20 years, the former spouse is entitled to what’s referred to as Tricare and military medical treatment. It doesn’t cost the spouse anything for the coverage and it can save a substantial amount of money.
Schedule An Appointment Today
If you believe that your attorney has made significant mistakes involving your military divorce, are attorneys at St. Denis & Davey may be able to assist.
Schedule an appointment at one of our convenient office locations in Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa and Panama City to discuss your potential legal malpractice claim