Military Divorce in Texas FAQ
Where Can I File for Divorce if I am in the Military?
If you are a resident of Texas, and are away on public service (deployed or stationed somewhere else), you can still file for divorce in your home county of Texas.
Texas legislators have long understood that military members may have difficulty getting jurisidiction in their particular state for purposes of filing a divorce, which is why the law specifically allows members of the military to file in their homestate, even if the member is not living that at the time of filing the case.
Quote from the Texas Family Code:
Sec. 6.303. ABSENCE ON PUBLIC SERVICE. Time spent by a Texas domiciliary outside this state or outside the county of residence of the domiciliary while in the service of the armed forces or other service of the United States or of this state, or while accompanying the domiciliary’s spouse in the spouse’s service of the armed forces or other service of the United States or of this state, is considered residence in this state and in that county.
And, if your home state is not Texas, but you have been living in Texas on military duty for 6 months, and in your particular county for at least 90 days, then you can also file for divorce here in Texas.
Will I Need to Be There In Person to File the Divorce?
As your military divorce lawyer, Megan Cook will not require you to come in person to file the divorce, but rather, you can hire the Firm online, and then Megan Cook will electronically file the divorce for you in the proper District Court of the county of your home residence.
After the Military Divorce is Filed, What Happens?
At Cook & Cook, we strongly advocate that spouse should, whenever possible “part as friends”. In other words, you should talk to your ex and see if you can agree on how to divide the debts, assets and children into the future. The more you can agree on, the more time and money you will save on the divorce. If you have a part as friends type of divorce case, then you simply file the case, and tell your spouse that the case has started. Then you will both work together to fill out the divorce agreement information.
Do I Need to Pay My Spouse Alimony During the Divorce in Texas?
Absent temporary orders from the court, Texas does not require that you will pay your spouse alimony during a pending divorce case. However, you are not permitted to cut your spouse off from any of their credit cards, or ability to pay normal living expenses during the pending divorce case. Many spouses in agreed divorces come up with agreed alimony arrangements between themselves to help one another pay basic bills while both parties are getting back on their feet after the separation.
San Antonio, and many other cities have standing orders about how money must be used and not used during a pending divorce. See the standing orders of Bexar County here.
Do I Need to Pay My Spouse Child Support During the Divorce in Texas?
Absent temporary orders by the Court, there is no set law that a person has to pay child support to the other spouse during a divorce case. But, many parties in a friendly divorce come up with fair arrangements for how to support the children while the divorce case is pending. Coming up with agreements like this saves both spouses times and resources from going to court for a hearing where the court will order child support.
After the Divorce Case is Filed, What Hapens Next in the Military Divorce?
In a part as friends divorce case with the Cook & Cook Law Firm, we will simply ask you to fill out your property and child agreements on our website. We will use this information to counsel you on your choices, and then to draft your decree of divorce, as well as other closing documents in your case that apply. We will email you the proposed divorce agreement, for you to review. You can forward it via email to your spouse to review as well. Once both parties agree that the document reflects the terms of the divorce agreement, both parties will sign off on it.
Do I Need to Go to Court if I am in the Military to Finish My Divorce?
Most Military cities of Texas will allow us to waive your need to appear at the final hearing. Rather, we as your Military divorce lawyers will appear and present your final hearing. We will then send you the executed papers for your records. This is the final step in your divorce, and assumes that both spouses have cooperated with signing the necessary forms.
How is Child Support Determined? What Amount Will I Pay in Child Support if I am in the Military?
The same guideline rules apply to military members as civilians. Base pay, BAH and BAS are considered part of the gross monthly income of the service member for purposes of calculating support. Because BAS and BAH can vary substantially, we recommend that an average over several months be used to calculate gross income as opposed to just taking the most recent LES statement of service member to calculate the support.
How Will Custody of Our Kids Work After My Military Divorce in Texas?
We at Cook & Cook advocate that the spouses getting divorced should try to come up with an ongoing working agreement on how to help both parents will spend time with the children. This can prove quite difficult for military families, so more than most other situations, military parents have to realize that both guardiance of the children have a right to be in their children’s lives despite the divorce. The sooner the parents recognize this, the less money the parents will waste on trying to fight it out in court. A Judge in Texas has a strong presumption in favor of giving both parents joint custody, and having specific days in any given week/month that the children will be exchanged so that both parents have regular and ongoing contact with the kids.
To encourage an ongoing regular relationship, we advocate that military parents should have the right to 1 hour a day of facetime or electronic communication with children, during periods of long distance time or deployment.
Custody arrangements in military situations may need to have creative, moving solutions that allow the deployed or long distance parent to see his/her children. One example of a working solution is to have servce member give 1 week of notice to former spouse and then service member shall have the right to possession of the children during the entire length of leave.
Free Phone Consultations for Military Members and Their Spouses(210) 271-2800
Miltary Retirement Division FAQ
How is My Military Pension Divided in the Divorce in Texas?
Texas is a community property state, which means that any dollar you saved towards your military retirement after the date of marriage belongs just as much to you as a service members as it does to your former spouse. So, the spouses can agree on any division of the military pension that they agree upon. The military itself will not pay a former spouse more than 50% of the pension to a former spouse.
Call a Cook & Cook Lawyer Today
We Serve Texas.
San Antonio: (210) 271-2800
Austin: (512) 253-4330
Houston: (281) 886-8801
Dallas: (214) 974-8990
Megan Victoria Cook
Texas Military Divorce Lawyer & Managing Partner of Cook & Cook
I would be honored to talk to you about your military divorce needs in Texas. My telephone consultations are free. Call today (210) 271-2800. I serve military members throughout Texas.