Deciding to go forward with getting a divorce is never an easy thing. If you or your spouse are in the military, it can add a layer of stress to everything. In every state, the laws (state and federal) of military divorce differ. However, our Texas divorce attorneys will walk you through how a military divorce works in Texas.
How is a military divorce different in Texas?
Federal laws protect active-duty military members from being divorced by their spouses without knowing an action was taken in federal court. Additionally, under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and at the discretion of the local court, a military divorce in Texas may be postponed while the service member is on active duty.
There are a few main differences between military and civilian divorce. For the state of Texas, this includes;
- The most important thing to consider is that divorce papers must be personally served to an active-duty service member; no other form is acceptable.
- Active-duty service members have an additional 90 days to respond to being served.
- Active-duty service members can also request a delay in court hearings until they return from deployment.
- Those active in the military have the right to file in Texas if they are stationed there. If you were deployed from the state of Texas, you could also file in the state. However, you must be a resident in the state of Texas for at least six months and a resident of the county for three.
For civilians looking to file for divorce, this article will walk you through how to serve divorce papers in Texas.
Division of property in a military divorce in Texas
Texas law for the division of property is the same as civilian divorces. However, federal law protects the division of military retirement benefits.
Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), the dependent spouse must be married for at least ten years while the military member was on active duty.
Partial military retirement payments to the dependent spouse depend on multiple factors, including the duration of the marriage and the time the service member was on active duty during the marriage.
Along with outlining the military retirement payments for the military member and dependent spouse. Part of the divorce decree will also overview the Survivor Benefit Plan premiums, which are also calculated based on the length of the marriage and how long the military member was on active duty.
Health care benefits will also continue for the minor children and, if the marriage lasted for 20 years, the spouse, so the military member will be required to obtain military identification cards for his dependents as needed.
How child custody works in a military divorce in Texas
Child custody works the same way as a civilian divorce. However, child support may not exceed 60 percent of the pay and allowances of the active-duty member.
When seeking child custody, avoid these mistakes when going through a divorce.
When working out a custody agreement, divorcing military couples must consider what will happen if the active military member is deployed or sent to another location or they have to move to another state. Also, if the active military comes home from deployment, they may seek an additional visitation.
Working with an experienced military divorce attorney in Texas
Active-duty military members should always work with an experienced family law firm familiar with military divorces in Texas. Since there are a few complexities related to military divorce, you need a divorce attorney who knows the specifics of serving divorce papers, residency, child custody, and property division as it applies to a military member.
C.E. Borman & Associates is an American Lawyer Top 100 Law Firm.
C.E. Borman & Associates have served the Brazos Valley for over 20 years. Our attorneys and legal staff are committed to straight talk and honest advice.
We provide exceptional value to our clients and often make life-long, remarkable changes that benefit future generations. Contact us if you need a divorce or family law attorney. Call (979) 846-4090.