Military divorces come with additional strings, including what is considered an assets for equitable distribution.
Divorce is difficult enough without additional layers of legal complexity, but the reality of military divorce is there are additional divorce factors to consider. A common question military members and their spouses frequently ask in the event of a divorce is whether accrued vacation time and/or sick leave is a marital asset.
This is an important issue since marital assets can be equitably distributed when it comes time to divide marital property. Here is what Florida law has to say on the matter.
Accrued Vacation Time and Sick Leave As Marital Property
Accrued vacation time and sick leave is a valuable component of marital property that is too often overlooked in Florida military divorces. Regardless of a service member’s rank, 30 days of paid leave is accrued each year. By using the pay tables available on the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) website, one can quickly and easily assess what these paid leave days are worth. Paid leave is equivalent to one month of the service member’s monthly pay rate. As such, paid leave time alone is a valuable component of marital property, and Florida law does treat accrued vacation time as a marital asset.
Depending on the amount of days accrued, the value of paid leave could be substantial. Some attorneys may try to argue that a nonmilitary spouse is not entitled to military leave, but such assertions are beside the point. While it is true that a nonmilitary spouse is not entitled to paid military leave, this assertion has nothing to do with the fact that Florida law views paid leave acquired during a marriage as marital community property.
The same is true of sick leave as well. Florida case law upholds the valuation and allocation of vacation time and sick leave in both civilian and military contexts when these benefits are acquired during a marriage. For a fair and equitable distribution of marital property in a Florida military divorce, it is imperative that all assets are accounted for and factored into the analysis.
If you have questions regarding your military divorce, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]