Military service members and their spouses involved in a divorce or other family law matter face significantly different challenges than do the civilian population they protect and serve. Some of those issues are:
- Invocation by military personnel of their rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act;
- Jurisdictional questions about where to file for divorce, i.e. home state, base jurisdiction, etc.;
- Creative Custody Schedules and visitation issues in the case of overseas deployment or TDY;
- Custody of children under 3 and relocation of those children;
- Military personnel Computation of child support obligations; and
- Issues of Military retirement, including SBP elections.
As our country is at war, the claiming of a service member's rights under the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is both pertinent and important. Due to the possibility of deployment which can or does prevent them from being granted leave to attend court, this law protects service members from being unfairly treated when unable to attend. Any service member or the spouse thereof who is deployed overseas should inquire about this law.
Military clients frequently misunderstand their rights to their own retirement. Often, service members believe that, unless the parties have been married for more than 10 years, their spouse is not entitled to any share of the service member's military retirement - such is not the case. Subject to certain caveats, the issue of whether or not military retirement is divisible as marital property is a question of Texas law, or the law of the divorce jurisdiction.
It is Federal law that the Department of Defense cannot pay the non-service member spouse directly unless the parties were married for more than 10 years, during which time the service member served 10 years or more active duty. This does not mean that the spouse is not entitled to a share of the property accrued during the marriage. Another complex issue is that VA disability benefits are NOT community property, and are thus not subject to being divided.
John Powell, III has the knowledge, skill and experience necessary to represent military service member clients and their spouses successfully. John Powell, III is experienced in working out amicable solutions to military divorce issues and other family law proceedings involving military service members, including divorce, child custody, creative custody schedules, relocation cases, modification, and adoption issues. The Powell Law Firm crafts plans to protect the rights of military service members, their spouses and the children. We help our clients through the Texas courts to assist them to find their best solutions.
In the event that an amicable solution is simply not possible, the lawyers of The Powell Law Firm in Pearland have the knowledge, courtroom demeanor and professionalism necessary to effectively represent military clients in court. If you are a military service member, or if you are married to a military service member, and have an issue involving divorce, child custody, child support, child visitation, or adoption, contact our attorneys today for a consultation.