Filing a Military Divorce in Texas: A Guide to Acceptance of Service

How To Serve Military Members During Divorce In Texas

As a Houston, Texas divorce lawyer, I have had the privilege of assisting service members through military divorces and family law cases. One of the common concerns expressed by my clients is the process of serving the service member with the necessary paperwork.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into various methods of service for military divorces, addressing the specific challenges that may arise.

Acceptance of Service

The most straightforward way to fulfill the service requirement in a Texas divorce is if the military member willingly accepts service by signing and returning a waiver of service. This document acknowledges that the service member has received the divorce papers and is aware of the filed divorce. This method works well for military families, allowing couples to continue the divorce process even if one spouse is elsewhere, including those stationed outside the country.

Locating the Service Member or Obtaining a Mailing Address

How To Serve Military Members During Divorce In Texas

Obtaining the current mailing address of a service member can be a challenge, especially when dealing with military personnel records. It’s important to note that responsibility for military personnel records falls within the jurisdiction of the respective military departments, rather than the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

To request a military address, you should reach out to the appropriate service branch for the individual in question. It is important to be patient as this process can take up to four weeks to obtain the necessary information.

For effective locating services, you will typically need to provide the following information:

  • Full name of the service member
  • Last known duty assignment
  • Last known military address
  • Service number
  • Social security number

Locator services usually offer their services for free to immediate family members and government officials, but they require others to pay a nominal fee for the service.

Service of Process upon Personnel

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) outlines the provisions for service of process upon military personnel. According to 32 CFR 720.20, commanding officers have the authority to permit service of process from federal or state courts upon members. Several factors may influence the decision, including:

  1. In-State Process: Command generally permits a process server from a state or federal court in the jurisdiction of the naval station to serve process on an installation, provided the service complies with reasonable command regulations and maintains good order and discipline.
  2. Out-of-State Process: The individual named in the process from a jurisdiction other than where the command is located does not have to accept it.

The Code of Federal Regulations provides clear guidelines for the service of process on military personnel. Commanding officers have the authority to enable this service, taking into account the court’s location issuing the process and the jurisdiction of the naval station. This system ensures both adherence to legal protocols and the maintenance of military order and discipline.

Service on a Military Installation

How To Serve Military Members During Divorce In Texas

Contrary to popular belief, serving service members on U.S. military bases is possible. Authorities can help make them available for process serving if they’re on base.

Service when Overseas

Serving overseas service members involves challenges. Sometimes, you can serve them via registered or certified mail. This uses “APO” (Army Post Office) and “FPO” (Fleet Post Office) addresses. However, getting return receipts from military mail can be uncertain.

Detail and rule knowledge is key for overseas service.

In military divorces, correct service process is vital. Working with a lawyer familiar with military divorce is crucial. They can navigate the unique challenges of serving a service member.

Final Thoughts

In the tapestry of Texas family law, military divorces hold a unique position, blending federal statutes with state guidelines to navigate the complex waters of marital dissolution. The path to finalizing a military divorce in Texas underscores the necessity for specialized legal guidance, considering the intricate interplay of military benefits, residency requirements, and child custody arrangements. As service members and their spouses embark on this challenging journey, understanding the distinct nuances of military divorces becomes paramount. In essence, securing a resolution that honors the service and sacrifice of military personnel while ensuring fairness and equity for both parties is the cornerstone of navigating military divorces in Texas.


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  1. Military Divorces in Texas
  2. Essential Information for Military Divorces in Texas
  3. Military Support Without a Court Order During a Divorce in Texas
  4. How to Divorce a Spouse in the Military
  5. Texas Divorce – Serving Military Personnel or their Spouse Worldwide
  6. Texas Statute Aids Military Personnel and Their Spouses in Filing for Divorce
  7. Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
  8. How Can I Get My Spouse to Pay My Attorney’s Fees in a Texas Divorce?
  9. How am I going to Pay for My Texas Divorce?
  10. Should I Hide Money from my Spouse to Get Ready for my Texas Divorce?
  11. Do military couples marry faster than other couples?
  12. Military disability pay in a Texas divorce case
  13. How VA Benefits are impacted in a Texas divorce


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