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What is different about military divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Divorce

Couples heading for a military divorce in Texas may have concerns about how their divorce will differ from civilian proceedings.

While some aspects are similar, there are several differences between military and civilian divorce.

1. Timing

Hand delivery is the only legal method of serving divorce papers, which may complicate the timeline if one spouse is on a deployment. Additionally, as a provision of the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, active-duty service members have 90 days more than civilians to respond to divorce papers. The SCRA also allows the active-duty spouse to request a proceedings postponement until 60 days after their deployment ends.

2. Property division

While most property division in a military divorce is the same as in a civilian divorce, there is a difference regarding military retirement benefits. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act allows former spouses of service members to receive up to half of their ex’s military retirement benefits if ten years of their marriage occurred during active duty.

3. Residency

The frequent moves that military service sometimes requires may complicate things for a divorcing couple. In Texas, at least one spouse must live in the state for six months before they can file for divorce.

4. Custody

Parenting plans are always intricate, but military divorces can make them especially tricky. Military custody plans must include special provisions and flexibility to accommodate when one parent is away in active service.

Divorcing military couples should understand and plan for the unique challenges of the military divorce process.