Houston Military Divorce Lawyers
We Can Guide You Through Your Case
Divorce is an often difficult and painful decision to make. You entered into a marriage filled with love, hope, and optimism, only for those emotions to turn into something else entirely. Now the prospect of divorce is looming, and you may be filled with sorrow, apprehension, and anger. You are being asked to master your emotions while trying to navigate the confusing and tedious legal framework surrounding the divorce process. This is why divorce can be so difficult. It is made even more difficult when one or both spouses are serving in the military.
Being a military member, especially one serving overseas or away from home, adds a new dimension to the legal process of separation. If you are contemplating a divorce, you need to find a skilled lawyer with experience dealing with the unique circumstances that can arise from a military divorce.
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, our Houston military divorce attorneys understand the unique circumstances and situations that can impact a military divorce. Whether you are currently a servicemember or are the spouse of a service member, we know what it takes to help you protect your family and your financial stability. A divorce is a major life event that could impact you for the rest of your life, especially if you have children. Don’t put your future in inexperienced or incapable hands. Trust the team with the experience and resources to help you navigate the sometimes-complicated process of divorce.
Contact us at (713) 766-5355 to set up an appointment to discuss your legal rights and options.
Military Divorce in Texas
It is crucial to seek an attorney with experience dealing with military divorces due to the federal laws that exist to protect active-duty military members. The Servicemember Civil Relief Act is a piece of federal legislation that, in part, helps protect active-duty military members from being divorced by their spouses without their knowledge. In order for a Texas court to even hear divorce proceedings, the active-duty military member must be served with divorce papers in person. A military divorce can also be postponed while a service member is on active duty and for an additional 60 days after their return. An active duty servicemember can waive these protections if they want to proceed with divorce as soon as the divorce is filed, regardless of active-duty status.
Military Divorce Issues
There are unique aspects involved in a military divorce that may not be applicable to a civilian divorce. Making sure that your attorney understands these issues and the complications that can emanate from these issues is essential.
Some of the specific items that may come into play in a military divorce can include:
- Deployment and child custody
- Base privileges
- Division of pensions
- Spousal support
- Survivor benefits
- Health care benefits
- Other military benefits
Having an attorney that is experienced in dealing with these issues means that you are on the right path when it comes to fighting for the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Divorce Filing Residency Complications
One of the complications that can arise from a military divorce stems from residency. Just because you currently live in Texas, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are able to file for divorce in the state of Texas. But if you are a member of the military or the spouse of someone in the military, know that you may file for divorce in Texas if you have been in Texas long enough to meet the residency requirements. That is, if you are a ”domiciliary” of the state for at least six months prior to filing for divorce, and a resident of the country that you are filing in for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce. Further, Texas law considers that a military service member who chooses Texas as his or her domicile, is a resident domiciliary of Texas regardless of where that person’s military service takes him.
If you are currently living in Texas or if Texas is your home and you are away on active military service and would like to proceed with a divorce, contact the law firm of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler. Our Houston military divorce attorneys can review your case and help you determine if you meet the state’s residency requirements.
Division of Property and Benefits
Federal law dictates that couples married for 10 years or more must share a military member’s retirement benefits. However, Texas also has additional laws that are applied to couples married for any length of time. This means that any benefits accrued during the duration of the marriage can be subject to division during a divorce. Texas is a community property state. Military couples should be aware that in Texas, property acquired during the marriage will typically be divided. Each party may be able to assert their rights to preserve separate property to themselves, that is, property that they can prove was acquired prior to marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance.
When it comes to dividing the property itself, Texas law requires a judge to divide the community property in a way that is considered “just and right.”
If the marriage has lasted for at least 20 years and during those 20 years your spouse served in the military, you are eligible to receive health insurance and other benefits through the military even after divorce. If you do not meet those requirements, there may be other legal avenues to explore, depending on your situation.
Child Custody Arrangements
Child custody issues are some of the most complicated to sort out. While everyone wants what is best for the child, people may have different ideas on what that looks like. This issue becomes even more complex when you factor in deployment schedules for active duty servicemembers. Texas law states that it is typically in the best interest of the child for both parents to be given joint managing conservatorship. That means the state prefers that both parents have the opportunity to take an active role in parenting.
Visitation and custody may become complicated when an active duty servicemember is sent out on deployment or is transferred to another area. Under those circumstances, the couple or the court must determine what is in the best interest of the child. Following deployment, a servicemember may consider asking the court to grant extra visitation after they have returned. Where a servicemember is moved to a new base of operations, options for long-distance arrangements and periods of possession that will work on leave should be considered, as well as other contact such as video-conferencing, texting and email with the child when the deployment circumstances permit.
Again, these unique circumstances may make it more difficult to determine what is in the best interest of the child. Strong emotions may also come into. An attorney who understands the nuances of military divorce can help you navigate the legal and emotional implications of these decisions and create a plan for you and your family to keep your best interests at heart.
Monetary child support for a military divorce is based on Texas state guidelines. In most situations, the net income of the noncustodial parent, or the parent who is not residing with the child, will be taken into consideration when determining how much child support is due.
Consult an Experienced Houston Military Divorce Attorney
It is a unique and volatile combination, a complicated and analytical legal process, and one of the most emotionally charged times in a person’s life. Divorce is a difficult process, only made more arduous because a spouse is a member of the military. While divorce may mean separating from someone, you don’t have to go through this process alone. The team at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler offers both legal counsel and emotional support as you maneuver through this difficult time.
The life of a military family is unique, and so are the circumstances of their divorces. Rely on an attorney who has experience handling the nuances that come with a military divorce — rely on the team at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler.
A Team-Based Approach
When you hire one attorney at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, you receive the experience, knowledge and insight of our team.
Always Prepared for Trial
Our attorneys prepare for war so we can negotiate peace. We are not afraid to go to trial if it is in the client's best interest.
Each case is reviewed by our team to ensure we are crafting a case strategy that will help you achieve a satisfactory result.
We Put Clients First
At our firm, the client drives our goals. We put you and your needs first while focusing on providing a personalized approach for your unique case.
“They are extremely conscientious and smart and are excellent trial lawyers.”- Gina F.
“I would highly recommend HD&S to anyone needing family law representation in the Houston area.”- James M.
“HD&S gave me great advice, stayed on top of things, and explained everything very clearly to me.”- Chris G.