When it comes to military divorce entitlements, there is a lot of misinformation out there. For example, you could be married to somebody for only months and still owe entitlements. There are so many things to consider before filing your papers; here are a few common questions to consider during your military divorce.
If you’re stationed in Texas, you may be able to file for a divorce in Texas even if your home of record is another state. In Texas, if you or your spouse is on active duty, you can file in the county where you have resided for the last 90 days, provided you have been stationed at one or more military installations in Texas for at least 6 months (even if you were not previously a resident of Texas). If you or your spouse are in the military and you meet the requirements to file, you may want to consider filing in Texas for a divorce for numerous reasons. Because divorce laws vary from state to state, where you file can make a major difference in how entitlements are decided; Texas is a community property state.
No-Fault Divorce State
Many states require fault for a divorce to be granted; however, in Texas we allow parties to divorce for any reason. As a result, Texas is a no-fault divorce state. Again, divorce laws vary from state to state and some states require parties to be separated for a prolonged period of time before the divorce can be finalized. However, in Texas, a divorce can be completed in a minimum of 60 days in most cases.
Retirement payments will be administered by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) if certain requirements are met. For the non-military ex-spouse to receive retirement funds through DFAS, the parties must have been married 10 years overlapping with 10 years of service. Also known as the “10/10 rule”, the military spouse must have been in the military for at least 10 years during the marriage. However, even if your non-military ex-spouse doesn’t meet the time criteria to receive funds through DFAS, the former military spouse is responsible for ensuring that retirement funds are distributed as per the divorce decree to the non-military ex-spouse.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of things you’ll need to consider as you undergo a military divorce, and you need a skilled military divorce lawyer that will get the job done right. If you have any questions about your specific situation, feel free to reach out to Bineham & Gillen PLLC today. We aim for same-day consultations free of charge and offer financing and payment plans.