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How to Divorce a Spouse in the Military

At The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we recently received a phone call from the spouse of an active duty member of our armed services. She, her husband and their children are stationed in Europe currently and unfortunately the phone call pertained to her and her husband seeking a military divorce. While the process of divorcing a spouse who is in the military is nearly the same as a civilian divorce, the difference merit further examination.

Military Divorce V. Civilian Divorce

To begin, a military divorce should be filed where a party considers their domicile to be. Meaning, if either spouse considers Texas to be their permanent home that they intend to return to upon completion of their deployment, then either spouse may file in Texas. The standard jurisdictional law still is relevant, however: the party must have lived in Texas for at least six months prior to deployment and in the specific county of filing for at least 90 days to be under Texas jurisdiction.

Once a Petition for Divorce has been filed, it must be personally served on the non filing party so that they have an opportunity to enter an Answer. An exception exists for the non filing spouse if they sign a "waiver" of personal service and have it filed with the court. An important law to keep in mind is a federal statute known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act which protects active duty soldiers from having a default judgment placed against them for failure to respond in time to a Petition for Divorce. Active duty soldiers and sailors can have divorce proceedings postponed for the entire length of their deployment as well as an additional 60 days. This right afforded to service members can be waived.

Military retirement benefits is essentially the other area of property division that differs for military divorces when compared to civilian divorces. For a dependent spouse to receive any portion or distribution of military retirement benefits the couple has to have been married for at least 10 years while the service member was on active duty. The division of military retirement funds are determined by another federal statute- the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act.

Finally, when children are at issue in a divorce, child support judgments in Texas are decided according to statutory guidelines with a cap at 60 percent of the service member's pay. It is important to have an experienced Texas family law attorney assisting a party to a military divorce in this area specifically, as a Texas court must have jurisdiction over the children to enter child support orders.

The nature of military divorces, while not completely different that those for civilian citizens, is unique. It would be to the benefit of any person whose spouse is in the military to consider the advice and counsel of an attorney whose practice deals in military divorces and the laws that encompass them. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan is available to consult with you on your particular situation and to guide you through this process in order so that your rights, and those of your family, are protected.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring, Texas Military Divorce Lawyers

If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with a divorce lawyer right away to protect your rights. Our military divorce lawyers in Spring Texas are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Tomball, the FM1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Our blog features a wealth of knowledge pertaining to some of the most frequently asked family law questions.

    Read More
  • Sign Up For Our Free E-Course

    Click here to sign up for our free E-Course on Divorce! It has been specifically created to help people who are considering divorce and wish to learn more about the divorce process

    Sign Up Now
  • Schedule Your Free Consultation Now

    Schedule a risk-free consultation today and we can assess your case.

    Book Now
  • Meet With a Finance Specialist

    Discuss payment plan options and more with a finance specialist.

    Get Started Now

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan
Spring Divorce Attorney
Located at: 17101 Kuykendahl Rd,
Houston, TX 77068
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Phone: (281) 810-9760
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