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.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Military Divorces in Texas
- Essential Information for Military Divorces in Texas
- 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?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Texas Military Divorce Lawyer
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 ar Texas military Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
A military divorce lawyer in Spring TX is 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, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.