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Rules change for retirement pay after military divorce

Texas men and women who serve in the military have long protested laws regarding the division of their retirement pay during divorce. Military divorce comes with unique rules meant to protect both servicemembers and their civilian spouses, and this involves the splitting of military retirement pay by as much as 50 percent. Although states have some leeway in deciding how much a civilian spouse receives after a divorce, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision may change that.

Military divorce rates high for women who serve

Men and women of Texas who serve proudly in the U.S. Armed Forces often accept that their military service complicates many areas of their lives. Many service members will agree that the part of life most seriously compromised by their military duties is their family life. The stress of deployment, unfamiliar environments, frequent moves and the resulting difficulty of forming lasting relationships all take their tolls on a marriage and family. Military divorce is a sad consequence of this stress.

Military divorce may mean declining communication with children

No matter the circumstances, divorce is a disruption to any Texas family. Plans, routines and finances may be thrown into disarray for a period of time until disputes are settled and new systems are put into place. In a military divorce, however, there may be special considerations to make. Because of the delicate balance of family life and military service, couples going through a divorce may face unique complications.

Military divorce should not be considered lightly

Few people in Texas understand the stresses of a military marriage unless they have been inside one. Deployments, frequent moves and the emotional distance that belong to military life take their tolls on relationships. Because enduring a military divorce can be equally as stressful, family advocates urge spouses to try to work through the difficult times to preserve their marriages before seeking a divorce.

Military divorce has many unique aspects

Divorce is seldom easy, no matter the circumstances. However, if one spouse serves in the military, there are special factors that can cause serious issues if both parties are not informed. The ramifications of military divorce for both the servicemember and the civilian spouse can be long-reaching, and understanding one's rights before the settlement is final can make a difference in one's future.

Can you receive retirement and benefits in a military divorce?

Many service members and their families retire here in Texas. If a couple's marriage does not last, all of the assets acquired or increased during the marriage are considered jointly owned under the state's community property law. This means that in a military divorce, the service member's spouse could have a right to a portion of his or her retirement pay.

Military divorce, child custody and deployment

By its very nature, being a member of the United States Armed Forces means that there will more than likely be changes in how service men and women live. For many military couples here in Texas and around the globe, change could include a military divorce. When children are involved, the service member could feel slighted when it comes to child custody because being deployed to another state, or even another country, is part of the commitment.

How is a military divorce different from a civilian one?

Military personnel stationed here in Texas -- or their spouses who live in the state -- might be contemplating ending their marriages. However, the military divorce process might intimidate them because they believe that it is more complicated than a civilian divorce. Fortunately, military divorces are not more complex than civilian ones, but there are certain issues facing soldiers and their families that are not a consideration for those who do not serve.

A realm of its own: military divorce concerns and considerations

Many divorcing couples run into formidable challenges in crafting a workable parenting plan involving their children even when they are striving mightily to do so while seated next to each other and being acutely focused on the matter.

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