Military Divorces in Texas

Military Divorces in Texas

Life for the men and women who serve in our country’s military is both extremely rewarding but also full of challenges and hardships. As an attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, I have had the opportunity and the honor to represent active duty members of the military as well as veterans in their child custody and divorce cases.

Military Divorces in Texas: An Overview

As citizens of the United States, we owe a debt of gratitude to these folks who sacrifice their personal comforts and peace of mind so that we as a nation may retain ours. The divorce attorneys and staff at our office fully recognize that.

Through my representation of military personnel and their spouses, I have learned that family life is often the first area to suffer when hardships begin.

When a divorce is on the horizon it is essential to have representation that understands the special circumstances that a military family lives under and how best to tailor their divorce to those circumstances. This blog post will discuss some of those issues for divorcing military members and their spouses.

How Does a Divorce Differ for Military Families vs. Civilian Families?

The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act protects active duty members of the United States Armed Forces from litigation matters while deployed. This protection extends to active duty military personnel, activated reservists, and deployed members of the National Guard, shielding them from the initiation or continuation of legal proceedings while they serve domestically or abroad.

Under this act, no one can file new legal cases, including divorce, against active duty military members without their consent. Additionally, ongoing cases cannot result in a default judgment until sixty days have passed since the servicemember has left active duty.

Child support arrearages may accumulate while serving, but the court will stay associated cases as previously discussed.

Military Residency Is Determined in a Different Fashion Than Civilian Residency

Military Divorces in Texas

Another area where a military divorce is different than a civilian divorce is in determining which state has jurisdiction in the divorce case itself. Military families are notorious for having to move all over the country and world in order to comply with the military member’s orders.

In some instances a father in the military will be staying on a military base for a little under a year prior to shipping off overseas. Meanwhile, his family will have never even been to the member’s temporary home base.

The court must determine the “domicile” of the soldier to decide whether a divorce can be filed in the soldier’s home state or the state where the family resides. In Texas, for example, a military member can file for divorce even if they have not returned to Texas for over a decade. The crucial factor is the military member’s intent to return to Texas after their service concludes.

Military Retirement- Just how much is at stake?

Other than children, perhaps the most commonly asked question that an attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC receives in a consultation on divorce is regarding retirement benefits. The law that controls military retirement benefits in the context of a divorce is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (FPSA).

This law does not state specific terms by which a military divorce must proceed as to military retirement benefits and allows each state to develop its own law in regard to distributing military benefits in the event of a divorce.

From the date of marriage to their divorce, a civilian spouse is entitled to one-half of any military member’s retirement benefits, in theory.

However, this division does not always result in each spouse receiving an equal share of the retirement benefits. Often, the valuation of these benefits presents challenges in settling a military divorce. It is crucial to have an attorney experienced in interpreting the related documentation that you or your spouse may receive.

If the marriage lasts over twenty years, the non-military spouse may continue receiving health insurance benefits. Furthermore, former spouses can remain designated beneficiaries under the Survivor Benefit Plan if the military member passes away.

Strong, Effective Advocates for Military Families- The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

Military Divorces in Texas

If you are an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or married to one, securing an experienced family law attorney is crucial for navigating a divorce. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC serves clients across Southeast Texas, and we take pride in our profound understanding of military family dynamics. Our legal expertise, combined with a genuine appreciation of the unique circumstances and challenges faced by each family, guides our approach to advocacy.


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  1. Essential Information for Military Divorces in Texas
  2. Military Support Without a Court Order During a Divorce in Texas
  3. How to Divorce a Spouse in the Military
  4. Texas Divorce – Serving Military Personnel or their Spouse Worldwide
  5. Texas Statute Aids Military Personnel and Their Spouses in Filing for Divorce
  6. Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
  7. How Can I Get My Spouse to Pay My Attorney’s Fees in a Texas Divorce?
  8. How am I going to Pay for My Texas Divorce?
  9. Should I Hide Money from my Spouse to Get Ready for my Texas Divorce?
  10. 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
  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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