In order to finalize a
divorce in Texas, certain procedures must be followed in order for the Court to grant the divorce.
Military divorces are similar in many regards to civilian divorces there are factors that
need to be considered by families in which at least one spouse is an active
duty member of the military.
Houston divorce lawyers with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan would like to take this opportunity
to thank our military men and women for their service to our country,
and to also provide some information on this process.
To file for
divorce in Texas, the general rule is that at least one party must:
- be a resident of the State of Texas for at least six months prior to filing
for divorce and
- must also be a resident of the county in which they’ve filed for
at least ninety days.
When a couple lives away from Texas though, this can complicate things.
Active duty members of our military can be deployed away from home at
a moment’s notice and there may not have been enough time to establish
their residency in the State where they are currently stationed.
Texas Retains Jurisdiction of its Service Members
However, if a member of the military’s primary county of residence
is in Texas and they have been deployed elsewhere, Texas still retains
jurisdiction over the
divorce proceedings in most situations.
The key here is where does the filing party believes their permanent home
is. If they consider it to be in Texas, and have the intention to return
to Texas after their deployment is completed then the filing may occur
in Texas. The foregoing factors still apply as far as residency here is
Service of Divorce Papers
Service of divorce papers still needs to be in person even if the receiving
party is an active duty member of the military. This is the case unless
the receiving party is willing to sign a waiver of service form which
basically informs the Court that they understand that they have a right
to be served with the divorce paperwork personally but that they waive
A person may be willing to sign such a form if they believe that they will
enter into a settlement with their spouse and as a result they do not
need to assert any cause of action or defenses against the divorce suit
filed with their spouse.
Service Members Civil Relief Act
The Service Members Civil Relief Act also protects active duty members
of our military from being held in default for failing to respond to a
divorce petition. The way this works is that:
- divorce proceedings are basically postponed for as long as they are considered
active duty members of the military and
- up to sixty days after that.
In terms of dividing up the marital estate of the parties, the same rules
that apply to civilians applies to members of the military, except for
certain federal laws that apply to military retirement accounts.
A general rule of thumb is that a divorcing couple must have been married
for at least ten years while the military member was on active duty in
order for a dependent spouse to receive any percentage disbursement from
the military retirement account.
Again, federal law has specific guidelines for the division and disbursement
of the military retirement fund. An experienced attorney in handling
military divorces, such as those with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, can best manage and
structure this portion of a divorce to ensure that any settlement as to
military retirement funds is both satisfactory to their client and to
the military itself.
Child Support is capped for members of the military at 60% of a soldier or sailor’s
pay and allowances.
Where will the Children Live?
A question that often arises for either the parent with whom the children
reside primarily (custodial parent) or the parent with whom the children havescheduled visitation (non-custodial parent) is what happens if they are deployed and unable
to take advantage of the time awarded to them in a divorce.
If their children are not residing with them on deployment and are instead
in Texas, the service member may ask that the court name a temporary custodial
parent until the service member returns home.
By the same token, if the parent with
visitation rights finds him or herself in a similar situation where their military commitments
interfere with their visitation schedule they too can name a temporary
party to use their visitation time until their time of service ends.
The court will assess the particular situation of the parties and assign
temporary custodial rights accordingly. In many situations, one parent
is able to stay behind in the United States while the other parent is
abroad. Most courts will show preference to giving the active duty parent’s
time to the other parent unless it is shown that it is not in the children’s
best interests to do so.
Serving one’s country is one of the most honorable aspects to being
a citizen of the United States. The sacrifices inherent in doing so are
no more apparent than when a marital discord leads to the beginnings of
a divorce. In order to maintain peace of mind and to give themselves the
best opportunity to retain as much of their estate as possible and to
maximize their time with their children, members of our armed forces need
competent and effective representation.
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan not only have a great
deal of respect for members of the military but also know how their personal
situations differ from those of the general public. We would encourage
any military member with questions about a divorce to contact our office
today for a free consultation in order to learn more about their rights.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Military Support Without a Court Order During a Divorce in Texas
- How to Divorce a Spouse in the Military
- Texas Divorce - Serving Military Personnel or their Spouse Worldwide
- Texas Statute Aids Military Personnel and Their Spouses in Filing for Divorce
- Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
- How Can I Get My Spouse to Pay My Attorney's Fees in a Texas Divorce?
- How am I going to Pay for My Texas Divorce?
- Should I Hide Money from my Spouse to Get Ready for my Texas Divorce?
- 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
- 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Spring TX 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,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and