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Going through a divorce isn’t easy — and it can be even more challenging when one or both spouses are members of the military. While the Texas Family Code governs most issues in a military divorce, federal laws also apply. Importantly, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act establish certain rights and responsibilities of the spouses. In addition, each military branch has different regulations for calculating child support and alimony.
If you or your spouse is in the military and you’re facing divorce, it’s essential to have the guidance of a skilled attorney who has a deep understanding of the nuances involved in a military divorce. At Stacey Valdez & Associates, we have extensive experience representing servicemembers in all military branches for their matrimonial matters and obtaining favorable outcomes in their cases.
Military divorces can be much more complicated than civilian divorces in Texas. Not only are there unique legal issues that arise when members of the military divorce, but there are also specific rules and requirements that come into play. Significantly, both Texas state law and federal law are both applicable in military divorce cases.
The rules for dividing community property and assets are the same in both military and civilian divorce. But there are many other issues that have special considerations when one or both spouses are in the military, including the following:
Another consideration in a military divorce is service of process. The defendant spouse must be personally served with divorce papers, even if they are on active duty. Pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, those who are on active duty may be granted a 90-day extension to respond to the service of a summons and complaint. They may also ask the court to postpone the divorce proceedings until their return to the United States.
Divorce doesn’t only have an emotional impact — it can also have financial repercussions that affect you for years to come. Providing personalized time and attention in every case, the military divorce attorneys at Stacey Valdez & Associates are well-versed in the guidelines, regulations, and complexities involved in a military divorce. We are familiar with the various challenges military families encounter and will fight to secure the best possible results on your behalf.
Determining child support payments can be complicated when one or both parents are in the military. Although the amount of child support that must be paid is governed by Texas law, it can be challenging to calculate a servicemember’s actual pay. Courts will consider a military member’s total income when issuing a child support order — including their monthly compensation, Basic Allowance for Housing, and Basic Allowance for Subsistence. Additionally, a child support order may need to be modified when a parent is deployed to reflect their reduction in income during that time.
Child custody is decided in the same way in both military and civilian divorces. However, custody matters can be particularly complex when it comes to military divorce and an agreement must include provisions that address what will happen in the event of deployment or a transfer. If parents cannot reach an agreement regarding custody outside of court, a judge will apply the “best interests of the child” standard in rendering a determination.
At Stacey Valdez & Associates, we understand the concerns military families have regarding child support and custody matters. We will thoroughly explain your rights, responsibilities, and obligations — and work with you to create a plan that will achieve your objectives. Offering compassionate counsel and skillful advocacy in every case, we strive to obtain a positive outcome for you and your children.
Military divorces are unlike traditional divorces. Whether you’re the spouse commencing the divorce — or you’ve been served with divorce papers — it’s crucial to have the representation of a military divorce attorney to ensure your interests are protected. Located in Houston, Texas, Stacey Valdez & Associates is committed to providing adept advocacy to servicemembers and military spouses for their divorce and family law matters. Schedule a consultation by contacting us online or calling (713) 294-7072.