Military Divorce in Texas
Navigating a divorce can be stressful for any family, but it can be especially difficult for those who are members of the military. A military divorce is different from a traditional divorce in that it has its own set of issues that require extra thinking and effort on the part of the parties involved.
If you are divorcing your military spouse or vice versa, the attorneys at Bineham & Gillen explain what to expect in the article below. Keep reading to find out more about the military divorce process and how it works.
Where to File for a Military Divorce
The location of the divorce filed by a military marriage is critical to the military divorce process. The pair is permitted to file only in their legal residence, referred to as “domicile,” which is defined as “residency plus intent to remain.” This is the location where the pair established legal ties, such as:
- Driver’s license
- Mailing address
- Voter registration
- Vehicle registrations
- ID cards or permits
- Government forms
Because military families frequently relocate from one state to another at various stages of their lives, establishing a legal residence may not always be straightforward. In this case, Bineham & Gillen recommends seeking assistance from a military divorce attorney that can examine your legal ties in a quick and efficient manner.
Note: While the phrase “home of record” is frequently used in the military, it is not synonymous with “legal residence.” In fact, military spouses do not have a home of record, as this is determined purely by the location of the service member’s enrollment.
Legal aid attorneys are available on most bases in each branch of the military. In general, these attorneys will not be able to represent either spouse in court, but they will be able to assist you with general questions and requests.
Pro tip: Bineham & Gillen recommends that this situation be handled by a civilian attorney. If you are a low-income individual, you may be eligible for legal assistance from a non-military legal aid organization. To locate legal assistance in your area, follow the steps outlined here. Then type “divorce” into the search box.
Military pensions can only be divided by the state where the service member is legally residing. In light of this, military spouses need to be aware of how their state will deal with military pensions. Our lawyers at Bineham & Gillen specialize in military divorce law and can assist you in deciphering the specifics of your state’s pension rules.
Custody and Child Support
Most military custody and child support orders follow the same guidelines as civilian divorces. However, it is important to determine which state has jurisdiction over any minor children before custody and child support can be established. Also, support cannot exceed 60% of the active duty member’s pay and allowances in Texas.
Continued Military Privileges
In short, if a former spouse has not remarried, they may keep their military ID card if they meet the 20/20/20 rule. This rule requires a minimum of twenty years of marriage, a minimum of twenty years of military service, and a minimum of twenty years of marriage and military service overlap.
In the case of partial entitlement, this privilege is only available in limited circumstances that fall under the 20/20/15 rule. Under this rule, a spouse is entitled to one year of transitional medical benefits after twenty years of marriage, twenty years of military service, and at least fifteen years of marriage and military service overlap.
Contact Bineham & Gillen
Lawyers who specialize in military divorce should always be sought out by service members who are in the process of filing for divorce. If you or your spouse are serving in the military and need assistance with a legal matter in San Antonio, Helotes, or the Hill Country, contact Bineham & Gillen.
Divorces involving service members have been a common occurrence for our attorneys over the last three decades. We have the necessary expertise to guide you through your military divorce from start to finish.