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How Do I Protect My Rights in a Military Divorce?

 Posted on November 10, 2023 in Divorce

TX divorce lawyerMilitary couples face higher divorce rates compared to other professions, potentially due to the unique stresses of a military career. If you are facing a divorce while serving in the armed forces, especially if deployed, seeking guidance from a military divorce attorney is crucial. Finances in divorce can be complex, and military benefits add an extra layer of complication. You need a skilled Austin, Texas divorce attorney on your side.

What Are Some Legal Protections?

In a Texas military divorce, specific requirements and protections come into play under state and federal laws. To file for divorce in Texas, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months, with residency in the filing county for at least three months. Additionally, two federal acts provide crucial protections:

  •  The Service Members Civil Relief Act shields active-duty service members from default judgments in civil court. Active-duty members serving overseas can request a postponement until their return from deployment.
  • The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act, depending on the marriage length (at least ten years), civilian spouses may be entitled to a portion of the service member's retirement benefits.

 Child custody is determined with the child's best interest in mind, but it can be complicated, especially if one of the spouses is deployed. However, a deployed parent may pursue a temporary order to allow a relative to exercise custody or visitation.

How Could a Military Pension be Divided?

Handling a military pension in divorce is more complicated than non-military pensions. Various factors, including the location of the divorce, come into play. Federal law dictates that the state has jurisdiction over dividing the military pension only if the member is a legal resident, living in the state for reasons other than military assignment, or agrees to the state's jurisdiction. Without meeting these criteria, the state does not have a say in how the military pension is divided, emphasizing the need for a skilled divorce attorney.

Could I Keep Military Benefits After Divorce?

To determine if a spouse can retain military benefits post-divorce, the government follows the 20-20-20 rule. This rule considers three criteria:

  • The military member served for 20 or more years.
  • The couple was married for at least 20 years.
  • There was an overlapping period of at least 20 years of military service and marriage.

Schedule a Consultation with a Travis County, TX Lawyer

 To navigate the complexities of a military divorce, it is recommended that service members and military spouses consult a qualified Austin, TX military divorce attorney. They possess the expertise to safeguard your rights and interests throughout the process. For a consultation, contact Powers and Kerr, PLLC at 512-610-6199.

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