Police Officers and Family Law in Florida

March 9, 2021

While family law in Florida is applied to people in all industries, police officers deal with a specific set of issues that may make their case more complicated than others. Due to their occupation, topics like retirement benefits and work schedules are considered during their case. In this week’s blog post, we will see how these topics are evaluated in court.

If videos are more your style, watch Police Officers and Family Law in Florida!

Let’s start with retirement benefits and how that is handled in family law. When officers have a trust or pension, it can be difficult to distribute that asset in a divorce case equitably. One issue that commonly arises is the distribution of the “Survivor Benefit Plan.” The plan indicates who will receive those benefits if the officer passes away. This can lead to the benefit distribution, which is taken into consideration during court.

Another topic to consider is the officer’s schedule. Police officers have the flexibility to have a day shift, night shift, or even a graveyard shift. These schedules are carefully taken into consideration when addressing time-sharing or parental responsibilities with their children. If you are a police officer who tends to work later shifts, you may need to consider how that could affect the child's everyday schedule. You may need to apply for a different shift or create a more customized parenting plan that allows time with your child and personal job obligations.

In all my cases, I typically suggest that the parents work together on a schedule that allows significant time with their child and time to meet professional and personal needs.

However, if your case is required to go to court, it's important to note and explain through testimony, or physical evidence, the work schedule you have. The court will need to see if you're available to exercise timesharing with your child or children.

Another thing that comes up frequently in my cases is the amount of overtime officers work. It’s important to note that over time it can be calculated as part of child support or even alimony obligation, especially if it’s regular and continuous. So the officer’s history of overtime and likelihood of overtime in the future will be considered.

So if you or a police officer you know is going through a family law matter, please feel free to contact our office. We also assist people in all industries that reside in Florida.