Yes. Reserve time does not count the same as active duty time. You want to make sure that you get a breakdown of your points. Military folks will probably know what I mean by that, but you want to make sure that you know exactly how many points you have towards service during the time of the marriage. A lot of folks who’d already been in the military when they got married, that time that they have in the military before the marriage, that is not considered marital property during that time. Once in Florida, it runs until the divorce is filed. Different states have different rules on that. Sometimes it’s not until the divorce is final. In Florida, it’s when the divorce is filed. During that time frame, that is when you determine the marital portion, so the non-military spouse is only entitled to half of that portion. A lot of people think that once you are married to them, you automatically get half. That’s not necessarily true. When it comes to the points, when it comes to reserve folks, for each year that they are in reserve time, it does not equal a year of active duty time. You want to look for the exact number of years. You may think, Oh, you know what, I was married for 15 years, so she gets 15 years’ worth of my military pension. But let’s say that during the 15 years, five years were on reserve. Well, those are not going to be actual five years. You want to check your points, you want to talk to a military specialized divorce attorney, because if you have any kind of reserve time, you want to make sure that you are not giving up what would be your portion of the pension.
Ginger L. Dugan, a family lawyer at All Family Law Group in Tampa, Florida, has 10 years of experience in family law and handling complex cases.