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How do you divide military benefits in divorce in Texas?

Military divorces in Texas follow the state’s community property laws. When a couple can’t come to an agreement on how to divide their property during a divorce, the court usually equally distributes it.

10 years of military marriage

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) allows for dividing military retired pay among the divorced couple. However, not all former spouses qualify for this benefit. In order to receive this military benefit, your marriage must have lasted for at least 10 years while your spouse was serving in the military. The service member must have maintained honorable service during their time in the military as well.

These benefits are statutory entitlements, so neither a judge nor a service member can cancel or deny them. An eligible spouse cannot have their ID confiscated. The benefits aren’t negotiable either like other aspects of dividing property during a military divorce.

Child support

Regardless of how long your marriage lasted, you can receive child support if you need assistance in raising a child you two had together. The court will evaluate the income situation of both parents to make a decision on child support issues.

Survivor Benefit Plan beneficiary

Under the USFSPA, the service member can designate their spouse as a Survivor Benefit Plan beneficiary. This would give the spouse an annuity if the retiree dies. Within one year of the divorce, the former spouse must elect “former spouse coverage” at their military finance center to ensure they will receive these benefits.

Spouses can negotiate how they want to divide their property and assets during a divorce in Texas except for when it comes to military benefits. If they don’t provide a written agreement, then the judge will divide the property for them.

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