Can My Spouse File For Divorce in Texas While I am Deployed?

military service members in a line

plano texas divorce lawyerThere is never an ideal time for divorce, but facing an unexpected divorce when you are deployed can be daunting. You may wonder whether you will be expected to respond to court proceedings and how this could impact your relationship with your children when you get back. 

Understanding how military divorce laws work in Texas is of utmost importance. This article gives a brief overview of common questions that deployed service members may have. A Texas divorce attorney with experience in military divorces can help you understand your legal rights and advocate on your behalf for a favorable outcome. 

When Can A Spouse File for Divorce in Texas?

In order to file for divorce in Texas, certain residency conditions must be met: 

  • At least one spouse must have been a legal resident of Texas for at least six months

  • A spouse filing for divorce must have resided in the county in which he or she wants to file for at least 90 days

However, service members have additional avenues through which they can meet residency requirements for divorce, including:

  • The service member or spouse live in Texas but are temporarily stationed elsewhere

  • The service member or spouse are currently stationed in Texas

  • The service member lives in another state but was stationed in Texas and then deployed from Texas

How is a Military Divorce Different in Texas? 

If you are deployed, Texas law requires that divorce papers must be personally served to you. There is no other acceptable method of serving divorce papers. If you are overseas, getting personally served papers may prove impossible, and the inability to do so could significantly extend the timeline of the divorce. 

American service members also receive more time to respond to being served divorce papers. The Service Member’s Civil Relief Act, a law created to provide extra protection for service members facing legal or financial transactions, gives military members 90 extra days to respond, plus the ability to request a delay in court hearings until deployment ends and they can return home. 

How Does Property Division in a Divorce Affect Military Benefits?

Generally, most property division issues are handled the same in military divorce as they are in a civilian divorce. However, there are differences in how service member benefits may be treated.

Depending on the length of the marriage and the service member’s time spent on active duty, the spouse of a service member may be entitled to a portion of the service member’s health insurance and retirement benefits. The service member may be required to provide healthcare to minor children and former spouses after the divorce is finalized. 

Speak with a Collin County Divorce Attorney

Dealing with divorce while you are deployed can be a nightmare. Fortunately, the Law Office of Brian Bagley has experience dealing with situations exactly like this. Let an experienced Plano military divorce attorney help you understand exactly how the divorce process works for American service members so you can focus on your job and your children. Call us at (972) 843-7158 to schedule your free initial consultation today. 


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