Houston Military Retirement Lawyers
Fighting for Your Legal Rights in Family Law Matters
Whether you are a military servicemember or a civilian, going through a divorce is commonly a tough and often expensive family law matter. In every divorce, whether military or not, the issue of the division of marital property and debt must be settled. Marital property includes everything that a couple acquires during the marriage that is considered an asset, such as homes, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, and even pensions. Part of this issue in military divorces is the matter of a servicemember’s military retirement pay and if a former spouse can claim a portion of it through divorce. This can become a contentious matter.
At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, we provide personalized and dedicated legal service to members of the military facing family law issues, such divorce, child custody and visitation, and more. Our firm understands the unique challenges and difficulties that our dedicated military servicemembers face on a daily basis when serving our country as well as when facing family law issues. We are here to give you the dedicated support you need through negotiation, mediation, and litigation services involving any and all family law matters. We urge you to take advantage of our successful track record in resolving such matters for all Texans.
Learn more about how we can help you with personalized service and attention. Call the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC at (281) 810-9760 to book a free consultation with a Houston military retirement attorney.
Military Retirement Pay & Divorce
Military retirement pay is a vital asset for many individuals who have retired; this pay can build up fairly quickly in comparison to how civilian retirement accrues. It is also subject to and administered by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) which is part of the U.S. Department of Defense. This agency takes care of all payments made to servicemembers. When this agency is required to distribute pension funds to a servicemember’s former spouse, it will only do so when that former spouse has fulfilled what is required under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA).
The FSPA does not give an automatic right to a former spouse to collect a portion of the servicemember’s retirement pay. It does, however, give the right to a state family court to award that portion of retirement pay through a divorce decree final court order. This law also provides enforcement measures for collecting child support or spousal support that has been awarded through a state court’s order.
Texas is a community property state when it comes to the distribution of marital property, assets, and debts. That generally means an even split or as even as possible under the specific circumstances of the case. Under the community property rule, military retirement pay may be considered a marital asset subject to a split of up to 50 percent. That laws of the state where the divorce takes place, not the USFSPA dictate how much of a servicemember’s retirement pay may be allotted to a former.
Under the USFSPA, a former spouse may make a claim to be paid his or her portion when it has been demonstrated that the marriage lasted a minimum of 10 years and that the servicemember acquired 10 years of service during that time. When that requirement is fulfilled, the DFAS will then be able to pay the former spouse his or her share of the retirement pay directly.
Experienced Legal Representation for Military Retirement Pay
Whether you are seeking or contesting military retirement pay as part of a Texas divorce settlement, you will find knowledgeable legal help at our firm. Our skilled legal team understands the rigors and challenges of military life and the unique laws that govern such military family law matters as divorce, child custody, child support, and the division of marital property and debt. We can use our legal knowledge, litigation skills, and dedication to excellent service to help you both inside and outside of the courtroom through appropriate legal means.
Get the legal advocacy you need by contacting us online or at (281) 810-9760 today.