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What to expect from a divorce as active military

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2019 | Military Divorce

Military life isn’t always conducive to married life. With hardships like long-term deployments and frequent transfers, the stress can be hard for everyone to handle.

Divorce is difficult enough, but being active military adds an extra level of complication. Knowing what differences you can expect as active military can help get you through the process.


You’ll need to submit your divorce paperwork where you have residency. You or your spouse will need to call Texas home for six months before you file, live in your county for 90 days and you have to be stationed in Texas. Otherwise, you might need to register in another state that has jurisdiction.


Standard arrangements don’t always make sense when considering active military, and sometimes you need to make creative deals. Your partner may get custody while you’re on deployment, and you can gain some time back with extended visitation when you return. You can also argue for visitation rights for grandparents while you’re out of the country.


Texas is a community property state, which means equal division for anything acquired during the marriage, barring some exceptions. Additionally, courts may divide disposable military retired pay between you and your spouse thanks to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act.


There are likely only two ways the courts can garnish your pay, and that’s through spousal support and child support. The state levies the garnishment, and the federal government allows it, with some fine print. Federal law sets the limit at 60% of disposable income for a given week, or 50% if you’re supporting a second family. These percentages can go up if you find yourself behind on payments.

While your divorce can mostly behave like a civilian divorce, it is important to be aware of the differences and the impact that they can have. Be ready with an understanding of the requirements to help ensure smooth proceedings.