Thinking about a Military Divorce in Houston?
Let our Houston Divorce Lawyers Help!
Due to the unique circumstances surrounding active military members, a military divorce has specific rules and requirements that are slightly different from most Houston divorces. These rules often affect the residency requirements, postponement of divorce proceedings, property division and support obligations. Because of the complicated issues associated with military divorces, it is important that you consult with a Houston divorce lawyer prior to filing for a Texas military divorce.
Different Residency and Filing Requirements
The residency requirements for military divorce cases are slightly different from those for other divorces. To file for a military divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must either be:
- A Texas resident
- Stationed in Texas for military duty
Additionally, for Texas courts to have jurisdiction over a military spouse who is serving active duty, he or she must be personally served with a summons and a copy of the divorce action. If you and your spouse wish to file an uncontested divorce, personal service of process is not required and the military spouse must simply sign a waiver. Additionally, under the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the spouse serving active duty has the right to request that the divorce proceedings be delayed until after active duty ends.
Special Rules Regarding Property Division in Military Divorces
While many Houston laws concerning property division are applied to military divorces, there are a few special rules in cases where one or both spouses are in the military. Most importantly, under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), the former spouse of a military member is entitled to a certain portion of that spouse’s military retirement benefits. However, it is important to note that this benefit is only available in cases in which the marriage lasted at least 10 years while the military spouse was on active duty.
Visitation Rights and Support Obligations of Military Spouses
Because many military members are not present to visit their children, a military spouse may petition for child visitation rights to be granted to another family member, most often a child’s grandparent. This process can become complicated, and, accordingly, it is important that you enlist the help of a Houston law firm experienced in complicated divorce matters if you are seeking special visitation arrangements.
In addition to special rules considering child visitation, there are rules that protect military spouses when calculating child and spousal support. Under Texas law, a military spouse cannot be required to pay more than a total of 60 percent of his or her military pay in child support and alimony.
Providing Assistance in Military Divorce Cases
If you and/or your spouse are in the military and you are seeking the possibility of divorce, our Houston divorce law firm is available to help you. Contact the Houston divorce lawyers at John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C., today for help with your military divorce case.