Military Divorces Are Different
When it comes to military divorce in San Antonio, the process becomes more complex and there are additional issues that must be addressed than in a traditional divorce situation. Since state and federal laws govern military divorce, it is wise to seek legal counsel for results that meet your requirements.
Bineham & Gillen successfully handles complicated military divorce cases for many families. We represent both spouses and active military stationed in Bexar County, including those stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, and Brooks Army Medical Center (BAMC).
How Divorce Affects Military Benefits
Many spouses don’t know the effect of divorce on their military benefits including installation housing, moving costs, health care benefits, child support and more. As a former U.S. Marine, attorney James F. Gillen, Jr. understands the stressful situations that our soldiers and their families face. He uses this understanding to offer effective representation to military members and their families. Mr. Gillen and his team use innovative strategies to create a powerful case designed to meet your goals and help you move forward with your life.
Military Divorce Jurisdiction:
Where You File Matters
To file a divorce in this state, you or your spouse must have lived in Texas for six months and lived in the county of filing for three months. Additionally, either you or your spouse must be stationed in this state. The laws about divorce differ in varying states and unlike civilians, members of the military have a number of choices about where they can file for divorce.
States have their own requirements about residency and division of property. In addition, couples should consider matters of convenience, such as filing in the state in which they live, work, and bank. The military spouse brings his or her pension into the division of property. The couple must be married 10 years for the spouse to receive a portion of the retirement money. The federal government has a law that determines specifically how the pension will be divvied up.
Your Rights As A Servicemember
If you’re dealing with a divorce while on active duty, don’t worry. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, certain traditional expectations during divorce proceedings are changed. For example, the typical response time limit that a spouse served with divorce papers is usually bound to is extended for those military members away on active duty.
These are the important things that a divorce professional can help you identify. We can make sure that your rights as a servicemember are upheld, especially while you are serving your country!
Your Rights As A Divorced Military Spouse
Military divorces are seen as private civil matters, but military spouses are still entitled to certain rights during and after the divorce process. Military spouses have access to free legal assistance through the installation legal assistance offices. Because there are extra details to be aware of during a military divorce, it’s recommended that you work with a professional — especially involving child custody or spousal/child support issues.
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (the 20/20/20 rule) offers certain benefits to former spouses of servicemen and women. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, “…an unmarried, former spouse of a member of the military may receive privileges if they qualify for the following:
- The former spouse was married to the military member for at least 20 years at the time of the divorce, dissolution or annulment.
- The military member has performed at least 20 years of service that is creditable in determining eligibility for retired pay (the member does not have to be retired from active duty).
- The former spouse was married to the member during at least 20 years of the member’s retirement-creditable service.”