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What Happens to Military Benefits in a Texas Divorce?

 Posted on March 21, 2022 in Military Divorce

Frisco military divorce attorneyDividing personal and marital property is a difficult part of almost any Texas divorce, but the addition of military benefits adds an extra layer of complexity. Both spouses want to ensure they are protecting themselves and there is a finite amount of financial resources, so some conflict about property division is inevitable. If you or your spouse are members of the armed services of the United States and you are pursuing divorce, be sure you have a Texas divorce attorney who understands the implications of military benefits on your property settlement. 

Texas is a Community Property State

Texas encourages spouses to reach a property agreement themselves using the community property guidelines, meaning that any assets acquired during the marriage are split as close to 50/50 as possible unless there is a good reason to do otherwise. Spouses can negotiate certain assets for others as they set their own financial priorities. 

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) is an act of Congress that allows states to divide military benefits according to their own divorce laws. This means military benefits can be considered community property and are divisible in a divorce. However, there are some limitations. 

Limits According to Length of Marriage

If a couple has been married for at least 10 years, the military benefits acquired during the marriage can be divided as marital property. But if the marriage lasted less than 10 years, the civilian spouse is entitled to any of the military spouse’s benefits. In contrast, a civilian spouse’s work benefits (like 401ks or pension funds) are divisible as marital property no matter how long the marriage lasted. 

If a couple stayed married between 10 and 14 years, the civilian spouse may receive some portion of the military spouse’s disposable retirement pay. After 15 years, the civilian spouse may receive half of the disposable retirement pay and a year of health benefits. After 20 years, the civilian spouse can receive indefinite health benefits and base privileges. 

The amount and distribution of benefits can be complex, especially if a couple gets divorced long before the military spouse retires. Having the help of an experienced Texas military divorce attorney is essential for ensuring the process is correctly followed and you get the benefits to which you are entitled. 

Speak with a Frisco, TX Military Divorce Lawyer

A firm understanding of the implications of military benefits in your divorce is essential for preparing and planning. At The Law Office of Linda Risinger, our Frisco military divorce attorneys have the experience you need to work towards a favorable divorce agreement. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and let us show you what we can do for you. 




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