Achieve a Peaceful Resolution with our Skilled Houston Military Divorce Attorneys!

If you’re searching for a Houston Military Divorce Attorney, you’re already facing a tough challenge. Divorce is hard, and having a military marriage can make it even more complex, with rules that don’t apply to civilian splits. But don’t worry, a Houston Military Divorce Attorney is here to simplify things. They know the ins and outs of both military and divorce law to help ease your stress during this difficult time.

Quick Summary:

  • Military divorce involves unique legal and emotional challenges due to one or both spouses being service members.
  • These arise from military duty, deployment, and protection under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
  • Texas residency requirements for military divorce mandate six months of Texas residency before filing, with at least three months in the filing county.
  • Besides dividing marital property, military benefits like retirement benefits must be shared according to federal and Texas laws.
  • Child custody issues in military divorce often arise due to service member deployment, sometimes requiring legal stays on proceedings.
  • Texas divorce laws accommodate military families, allowing filing even when a spouse is absent due to military duty if Texas has been the primary residence for six months.
  • Spouses may access benefits like housing during deployment, but these could change post-divorce.

What is a Military Divorce?

Military divorce is the process by which a marriage is dissolved where one or both parties are service members in the National Guard, active duty military personnel, or reservists. Uniquely challenging due to the nature of military service, this type of divorce carries additional legal stipulations and emotional stresses beyond those found in civilian divorces.

How Is a Military Divorce Different?

Going through a military divorce? It’s a bit more complicated, especially when service members are away. Here’s what makes it unique:

  • Service members can be served for divorce proceedings even when overseas.
  • The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) offers special protection, ensuring active-duty military folks aren’t caught off guard by a divorce.
  • The court can put a hold on divorce proceedings (it’s called an automatic stay), making sure active-duty service members can have their say in the process.

Navigating these complexities can be tough, but don’t worry, it’s workable!

Grounds for Divorce in Texas

In Texas, divorce can be filed on various grounds, encompassing both fault and no-fault categories. The no-fault ground, termed “insupportability,” signifies irreparable marital conflicts. Alternatively, fault grounds attribute marriage breakdown to one spouse, including adultery, abandonment, cruelty, prolonged separation, mental hospital confinement, and felony conviction.

Military Divorce and Residency Requirements in Texas

Establishing residency is an important step in obtaining a divorce. In Texas, according to Texas Family Code 6.301, at least one of the divorcing spouses must have lived in Texas for a minimum of six months and within the intended county for at least 90 days before filing.

However, there are exceptions for military personnel who may not physically reside in Texas due to deployments but have chosen Texas as their official residence state.

Division of Military Benefits and Property in Military Divorce

In military divorce, it is not just marital property that needs to be divided; military benefits, including retirement benefits, may also be divided per federal law. Texas laws treat any benefits accrued during the span of the marriage as community property; hence, they also might be divided in a divorce.

Military Child Custody Arrangements

Child custody is one of the most challenging issues to handle in any divorce, more so in military divorces where deployments may disrupt standard arrangements. Texas law often favors joint managing conservatorship, prioritizing the best interests of the child and encouraging active involvement from both parents in parenting responsibilities.

There are no uniform federal laws per se, but certain provisions exist. These include:

  • referral of military custody cases to the child’s home state.
  • provision for a 90-day legal stay on proceedings during active duty deployment, which can be renewed
    if the person cannot attend to the custody case due to their deployment.

Custody and Visitation During Deployment

The period of deployment of the military parent can disrupt the standard custody arrangements. In such cases, it is crucial to account for secondary arrangements which cater to the best interests of the child while respecting the rights and duties of the military parent.

Military Child Support

In military divorces, child support calculations may involve unique aspects of military earnings and benefits like base pay and housing allowance, which can significantly affect the family’s financial stability post-divorce. Recognizing and accounting for these factors is crucial. 

Additionally, military divorces in Texas entail various challenges, including:

  • differing residency requirements, 
  • division of military benefits, and 
  • child custody issues related to deployments. 

Understanding both military and Texas family law is essential for both the service member and their spouse as they navigate the divorce process while prioritizing their family’s well-being.

Challenges of a Military Lifestyle

The unique demands of military duty, such as frequent deployments and relocations, necessitate careful consideration during divorce proceedings. Military spouses often face challenges navigating:

  • Scheduling around duty requirements.
  • Maintaining stability for children during deployments.
  • Managing long-distance co-parenting and visitation arrangements.

Filing for Military Divorce in Texas

Divorce laws are state-specific. In Texas, general residency requirements enforce that you file for divorce in the county where you or your spouse live or maintain a permanent residence. For military families, however, the definition of ‘home county’ can be complex. Texas law stipulates that you can file for divorce in the state if:

  • Texas has been the primary state of residence for you or your spouse for at least the past six months,
  • The county where the divorce is filed has been the home county for either spouse for a minimum of 90 days.

These criteria allow for filing even when a spouse is absent from the state on military duty.

Rights and Military Benefits

After divorce, eligibility for these benefits, like installation housing, typically ends 30 days post-separation

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) provides certain protections, allowing state courts to divide military retirement pay between the service member and their ex-spouse “in a just and right manner,” considering factors like marriage length and duration of service. 

Former spouses may also retain medical care, exchange, and commissary privileges post-divorce under specific criteria, with TRICARE benefits potentially accessible temporarily. Survivor benefits may be retained if the service member designates the ex-spouse as a beneficiary, though remarriage before age 55 could lead to their loss.

Continuing Benefits for Civilian Spouse and Children Post Divorce

Civilian spouses and children of military personnel may qualify for specific military health benefits post-divorce, with eligibility influenced by factors such as the duration of marriage and military service. 

The 20/20/20 Rule allows a civilian spouse to retain health benefits if there’s a 20-year overlap between the military service of the member, the marriage, and the overlap of military service and marriage. However, remarriage terminates these benefits.

Why Do I Need a Houston Military Divorce Attorney?

Navigating a military divorce involves complexities governed by state and federal laws, underscoring the pivotal role of a Houston Military Divorce Attorney. Here’s why: 

1. Familiarity with State and Federal Laws

A proficient attorney should grasp both state and federal laws impacting divorce, crucial for addressing challenges like pension division and deployment-related child custody issues. 

2. Military Procedures Mastery

Experience in military divorce entails familiarity with unique military procedures and benefits, spanning housing allowances, medical, commissary, and retirement benefits. 

3. Competence in Managing Complex Issues

 Military divorces often involve intricate matters like pension division and custody during deployments, necessitating a lawyer’s competence to navigate such complexities efficiently.

Remember, a good Houston Military Divorce Attorney is not just familiar with the laws, but is also capable of effectively managing complex military-specific issues while offering reliable assistance for their clients amidst a challenging phase in their lives.

Call our Houston Military Divorce Attorney Now!

Military divorce can be complicated, with state and federal laws, child custody and support, and division of benefits to consider. The Alsandor Law Firm is here to help. Led by Cheryl Alsandor, a board-certified family law attorney, we provide personalized legal services for your Houston Military Divorce.

Our team excels in military divorce and extends expertise to various related services, including parental rights and conservatorship, child custody and support arrangements, equitable property division, managing paternity cases, and legal assistance for adoption processes, catering to families seeking to expand through adoption.

Overcome the complexities and challenges of military divorce. Contact us for a paid strategy session or a free consultation to navigate turbulent times. Start confidently shaping your new future with our professional guidance. Call our Houston Military Divorce Attorney today!