Generally, determining the jurisdiction for a divorce case is fairly direct. Jurisdiction in a military divorce is often more complicated. Because active military personnel can be deployed or receive new orders with little warning, establishing residency requirements for jurisdiction can be difficult. There are several basic Texas jurisdictional requirements:
One of you must have been a Texas resident for at least six months.
The spouse who is a resident of Texas must have been living in the county of filing for at least three months.
The military spouse must be stationed in Texas.
If the military spouse is stationed outside of Texas, it is time to consult with a knowledgeable Central Texas divorce attorney.
The spouse filing for divorce must serve the other spouse in person, and if the other spouse is deployed, service becomes trickier. This requirement can only be waived if the spouse being served signs an affidavit of waiver, which is only applicable in uncontested divorces.
The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act allows military personnel additional protections:
Service members who are active duty cannot be held in default for failure to timely respond to service of divorce papers.
Service members who are active duty can delay divorce proceedings for the duration of active duty and for up to 60 days beyond.
If you are the military spouse and you are invested in putting divorce behind you as expediently as possible, you can waive these rights, but it is unlikely to be in your best interests. Important decisions related to custody arrangements for your children and the division of your marital property will be determined in the divorce proceedings, and you want to ensure that your rights are well protected throughout.
Military Benefits and Divorce
Throughout the divorce process, both spouses should continue to receive military benefits and to maintain their military IDs. Nonmilitary spouses can typically keep their military medical benefits and exchange privileges if the marriage lasted at least 20 years; the military spouse was active duty for at least 20 years; and the marriage and the active duty overlapped for at least 15 years.
If You Are Facing a Military Divorce, Consult with an Experienced Central Texas Lawyer Today
A military divorce can take an already complicated process to the next level. If you are facing a military divorce, attorney Brett H. Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas is here to help. Mr. Pritchard has the experience, commitment, and skill to guide your case toward a resolution that works for you and your children. For more information, please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.