Married Texas residents who are in the military, or are married to military personnel, and who want to get a divorce will find that the process is legally similar to that of divorces of civilians. However, there are some aspects of the military can affect their divorce.
They may find that the divorce process may require more time to complete if one party is permanently stationed overseas or is in a remote area on active duty. Some states have residency requirements that permit service members to file for divorce in which they are stationed.
It is also important for military couples to be aware of how the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act plays a role in their divorce. The federal legislation guides the military to honor state legislation regarding divorce legal issues, including spousal support, child support and military pensions. Although states have always maintained the authority to handle pension and retirement plans as they do all other marital assets, with the USFSPA, states are allowed to categorize military retirement funds as property instead of as income.
Military pension payments are issued directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. For an ex-spouse of a military member to receive direct retirement payments, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and overlapped with a decade of military service.
A divorce attorney may advise clients who are in the military, or who are married to military members, about which legal avenues to pursue to obtain their desired divorce settlement terms. The attorney may explain what methods are used to calculate how the military pension will be divided. If necessary, the attorney may engage in litigation to protect the rights and interests of clients involved in military divorces.