FAQ About Military Families And Domestic Law

The biggest mistake that military service members and their families can make is to hire an attorney who does not understand the unique aspects of military life or the way military and civilian laws intersect.

Attorney Zachary Vandyke is a former JAG officer with over 20 years of military experience. He not only has the knowledge required to represent service members and their families effectively, but he is invested in getting the best outcome possible.

  1. Will the military provide me with a JAG officer for civil matters?
  2. Can I file for divorce if I am currently deployed or living overseas?
  3. Must I proceed with a divorce if I am currently deployed?
  4. Is my military retirement subject to division in a divorce?
  5. Can my spouse move away with the kids?
  6. How is custody determined for military parents?

Have Additional Questions? Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation.

If you are a service member or spouse considering divorce, have child custody issues involving military parents or have another legal issue, schedule a free initial consultation with our lawyer. Call our office in Panama City at 850-851-0864 or send us your information. We represent families from Tyndall AFB to Eglin Air Force Base and north to Marianna. Se Habla Español!


Will The Military Provide Me With A JAG Officer For Civil Matters?

No. The Judge Advocate General (JAG) office will provide JAG representation in criminal matters but not in civil matters such as divorce. The benefit of hiring attorney Zachary Vandyke is that he is a former JAG officer who has experience in both military court and civilian court.

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Can I File For Divorce If I Am Currently Deployed Or Living Overseas?

Possibly. You may be able to file for divorce if you meet the residency requirements under Florida law. A divorce requires conversations, hearings, depositions or mediation. If you choose to divorce while not physically present, you may obtain approval to handle matters through electronic communications.

Before choosing this route, it is important that you speak to an attorney about your individual circumstances and understand the benefits or potential consequences of any decision.

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Must I Proceed With A Divorce If I Am Currently Deployed?

If you have been served while deployed or otherwise living outside the continental U.S., you have the right to stay the proceedings until you return.

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Is My Military Retirement Subject To Division In A Divorce?

The simple answer is yes, but only the portion that was earned during the marriage under the 10/10/50 rule. There are many other factors to consider when assessing the division of military retirement and other assets, so make sure to consult with an attorney.

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Can My Spouse Move Away With The Kids?

Practically speaking, a spouse/parent may pack up and physically move back home. Legally speaking, it is a different situation. If Florida courts still have jurisdiction over the child, they can compel a spouse to bring the child back. If a custody order is already in place, the spouse/parent can face serious consequences.

If your spouse has moved with a child, do not wait to seek legal advice as waiting can have consequences. If you are thinking about moving with a child, speak to an attorney about your concerns and options.

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How Is Custody Determined For Military Parents?

Custody (parental responsibility) is determined under the same laws as a civilian divorce, making decisions with the best interests of the child in mind. Issues unique to military life, such as deployments and frequent relocations, make the discussion complicated. It is crucial you have an attorney who understands these issues so that he or she can advocate for you effectively and draft a parenting plan that works for military families.

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