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Service member rights protected by federal law

Those who serve their country in the military often face many harsh conditions in the fight to preserve freedom. Because of this, the federal government has enacted numerous laws to protect service member rights when they may otherwise be violated. One such protection is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. In addition to numerous other rights, the law protects those who serve from civil lawsuits, including divorce, while they are on active duty and up to 60 days afterward.

By delaying Florida divorce proceedings, the SCRA allows service members to focus their attention on their military assignments. In such cases, it may not be possible for a service member to respond to divorce papers, and the law protects him or her from being held in default for failing to respond. On the other hand, a service member is not exempt from responding when able to do so.

The assistance of an attorney may be a valuable asset when a member of the armed forces is served with divorce papers while on duty. One who anticipates that a divorce is coming may benefit from the counsel and assistance of an attorney to handle legal matters in the absence of the service member. This may include motions for delays, documentation and filing, and protection of the retirement of the service member.

There are several other federal protections for members of the armed forces. Having Florida legal counsel with experience in military law will be an advantage to anyone facing family law issues. Divorce places many service member rights and military benefits in the balance, and those who serve will certainly want a strong ally to defend those rights.

Source: thebalance.com, "Military Divorce and Separation", Erik Bjornson, Accessed on Jan. 6, 2018

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