Texas Military Divorce Laws

Understanding Military Divorce in Texas

If you are an active duty soldier in Texas or are married to someone in the armed forces, and you want to get a divorce, there are some special issues you must address.

Protecting the Rights of Military Personnel

Understanding Military Divorce in TexasA federal law, known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, allows a Texas court, at its discretion, to postpone a divorce proceeding for the entire term of duty of an active service member, and for up to 60 days after discharge. This prevents a soldier from being a party to a divorce proceeding without the ability to participate or respond to the action. The active duty service member may waive this right at any time.

As a general rule, an active duty soldier must be served with a summons and complaint before a court can take any action. If the parties choose to pursue an uncontested divorce, the Texas court will have jurisdiction without service of the summons and complaint, provided the defendant signs or submits an affidavit acknowledging that the divorce has been filed.

To obtain a divorce in the Texas courts, you or your spouse must either be a resident of Texas, or one of must be stationed in Texas.

Property Distribution

Texas is a community property state and all such laws apply to any divorce filed in Texas. In addition, military personnel are governed by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, a federal law that determines how military retirement benefits will be divided in a divorce.

Support Obligations

Under Texas law, child and spousal support payments may not exceed 60% of a soldier’s pay and allowances.

Contact the Law Office of Len Conner

At the Law Office of Len Conner, we offer a free initial consultation in all family law matters, including issues relating to divorce. Send us an e-mail or call our office at (972) 445-1500 or (817) 288-4168 if you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Or call us toll free at (877) 613-5800 for an appointment.

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