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Plano, TX Military Divorce Lawyer

Wylie TX military divorce attorney

Attorney for Members of the Armed Forces and Military Spouses in Collin County

A spouse's military service often puts stress on a marriage. Unfortunately, some service members and their spouses find their marriages falling apart, whether due to this stress or other reasons. When a military service member's marriage ends in divorce, there are several unique complications and considerations due to both U.S. federal law and Texas state law. Both parties should be sure to understand these details and how they can impact their divorce case.

One of the best ways for service members and military spouses to prepare for a divorce is to hire an attorney who has substantial experience with military divorce cases. At the Law Office of Brian Bagley, we will help you consider factors including residency requirements, asset division, and child custody, and we will work to ensure that your interests are protected. With 10 years of family law experience, we are well-versed in the issues you are likely to encounter.

Divorce Filings Between Military Spouses in Texas

The military service of one or both spouses can affect the divorce process from the very beginning, starting with the ability to file for divorce in the state of Texas. Typically, state law requires that at least one spouse has been a Texas resident for at least six months immediately before filing, as well as a resident of the county where the petition for divorce is filed for at least 90 days. However, military service members and their spouses can also file for divorce in Texas if the service member has been stationed in the state and county for those same time periods.

If one spouse is living in Texas while the other is on active duty and stationed away from the state, it may still be possible to file for divorce. However, the proceedings can be significantly delayed based on the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which protects active duty service members from default judgments in civil court proceedings, including divorce cases. This means that if you want to divorce your spouse who is serving in the military, you will need to wait at least until they have been served notice of the petition, and possibly until they return from serving, before your case can move forward.

Property Division and Child Custody for Military Families

Some elements of the divorce resolution will also likely be impacted by a spouse's military service. For example, when dividing marital assets, military spouses will not only have to consider the usual properties like homes, vehicles, and bank accounts, but also the service member's military benefits. According to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), civilian spouses of service members may be eligible for the continuation of certain benefits after divorce, including commissary and exchange and healthcare, depending on the length of the marriage and whether it coincided with the military service. A spouse may also be eligible for part of the service member's retired pay. However, it is important to address these issues directly in your Texas divorce agreement to ensure you are protected.

Child custody can also be complicated in military divorces, especially if one of the spouses is currently deployed or expects to be in the future. In general, the terms of managing conservatorship, possession, and access to the child will be determined as in any other custody case, with the child's best interests as the primary focus. However, a deployed parent may choose to pursue a temporary order to allow another party, such as a grandparent or another relative, to exercise custody or visitation with the child during the deployment. The parent may also be able to pursue temporary additional visitation time after returning from duty.

Contact a Dallas County Military Divorce Attorney

If you need legal representation during or after your divorce for issues related to military service, we can provide the help you are looking for. Contact us at 972-422-2424 to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve military members and spouses in Dallas County, Tarrant County, Denton County, and Collin County, including Wylie, Lucas, Murphy, Parker, Plano, Sachse, and the surrounding areas.

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