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Specialty tag(s): Military Divorce, Divorce

Getting a Military Divorce in Texas: Legalities and Procedures to Understand

Ryan R. Bauerle | June 7, 2024

image of military husband and wife sitting on couch having serious conversation

Divorce is a challenging and complicated process, but that’s even more true for military families. Between the unique legal requirements and the protections afforded to service members and their spouses, the complexity of a military divorce can seem overwhelming. If you are facing a military divorce in Texas, it can help to familiarize yourself with the specific legalities and procedures that will affect your situation so you can be better prepared for what’s to come.

Requirements for a Military Divorce in Texas

A military divorce in Texas can be significantly different from a civilian one, due to both the state and federal laws involved. For service members and their spouses, it is essential to understand how divorce requirements and procedures can differ because of military status.

  • Service of Process: A military divorce process in Texas requires the pleadings to be served personally to active-duty service members. This requirement can often extend the timeline for a divorce, especially when service members are deployed overseas.
  • Residency Requirements: A military divorce in Texas requires either spouse to have been a legal resident of Texas for at least six months and a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for 90 days prior to the filing of the case. However, the divorce process in Texas for military members also permits those stationed in Texas or on deployment from Texas to file for divorce in the state. Therefore, it is not uncommon for military divorces to trigger jurisdictional fights if there are competing states that might otherwise satisfy the residency requirement.
  • Stay of Proceedings: Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), active-duty service members can request a postponement of the proceedings if their duties prevent them from participating in or responding to court actions. For example, if a service member is deployed – the proceedings should be stayed until their return.

Important Issues to Understand for a Military Divorce in Texas

Those going through a military divorce in Texas have to contend with the same issues as civilians, but while many matters are handled the same way in military divorces as they are in civilian divorces, there are a couple that differ.

Child Custody and Support

The divorce process in Texas for military spouses related to child custodychild support, and spousal support can be similar to civilian divorces. However, custody arrangements may also need to be more flexible in a military divorce to accommodate a service member’s deployment or relocation.

Division of Property

Similar to civilian divorces, the military divorce process in Texas follows the community property rule for the division of property. This law states that any property acquired during the marriage is equally owned by both spouses. However, military divorces also have to account for military-specific pensions, benefits, and other service-related entitlements such as Tricare and access to exchanges and commissaries. How these privileges are handled during a divorce is dependent on factors such as the length of the marriage and the duration of service during the marriage.

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Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you are considering a military divorce in Texas, contact Goranson Bain Ausley today to set up a consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys. We will work hard to protect your interests and secure the best possible outcome for your future.

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