Any kind of divorce can be complicated and emotionally draining for the involved parties. When one spouse is in the military, certain additional complications may impact the divorce process. Most notably, one of the parties might not be living in the state or be able to attend many court appearances.
There are specific laws that apply to these types of divorce cases. Most divorce-related laws are similar, but it is essential to understand nuances and allowances for service members. If you or your spouse are a service member, you should speak to an Austin military divorce lawyer today regarding your case. Our dedicated divorce attorneys could explain how this process may work differently from a traditional marriage dissolution and advise you of your legal rights.
Residency in Military Divorces
If a person wishes to initiate a divorce in Austin, they must have lived in the state for 180 days or more and in the county where they plan to file for at least 90 days before beginning their case. Once an individual establishes the proper venue for filing their petition for divorce, they must serve their spouse with the relevant documents. The spouse then has a set amount of time to respond to the petition.
When it comes to members of the military, the Service Members Civil Relief Act provides additional time to respond to a petition when the respondent is on active duty. Service members may have 90 days to draft a response to any allegations in the petition adequately.
Retirement Benefits in Military Divorce Cases
The military offers specific retirement benefits to service members and their spouses. Even if the parties divorce prior to when the retirement payments begin, courts may divide those benefits between the service member and their spouse.
Spouses can receive retirement benefits directly as long as the marriage lasts ten years or more. Courts may also award a spouse a portion of a service member’s retirement benefits in a shorter marriage but will not order that portion as a direct payment. It is essential to consult with an Austin attorney to discuss the way in which the court may divide these military retirement benefits during a divorce.
Child Custody in Military Families
Child custody creates another complicated issue for military families. Members of the military may need to serve overseas on relatively short notice. This career obligation might make it challenging to create how reasonable parenting plan.
In these situations, custody agreements may need to include some flexibility to allow for the unique aspects of military life. The custody arrangement may also influence child support payments, so parties must understand the relationship between the schedule and financial obligations for both parties.
Many factors influence the final decision. It may be necessary for both parties to consult with an experienced lawyer in Austin about their parental rights during a divorce where one party is a part of the military.
Hire an Austin Military Divorce Lawyer
If you are divorcing a member of the military or are a service member seeking marriage dissolution, you should consult with a legal representative. Divorce agreements involve many factors that are highly personal for the families.
The final agreements continue to influence the lives of all members of your family for many years to come. Call an Austin military divorce lawyer today to discuss your case.