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San Antonio, TX Family Law and Military Divorce Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Collaborative Divorce – An Alternative to Contested Litigation


The collaborative divorce model is an alternative to traditional “contested litigation” in that it is based on resolving a divorce using open discussion and cooperation in a private environment.  The Collaborative Family Law Act is specified in Chapter 15 of the Texas Family Code.  In collaborative divorce, each party is represented by his or her own attorney, and major aspects of the process include the following:

  • Signing of a collaborative family law participation agreement and filing it with the court.
  • The agreement includes each party’s commitment not to use court hearings to resolve issues.
  • Rather, issues are resolved based on a series of informal meetings among the two parties and their respective attorneys where information is exchanged without formal discovery processes.
    Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Military and Federal Civil Service Pay Raises for 2017


Pay raises for military and Federal civil service families will be modest in 2017. 

Active duty members will receive a 1.6% pay increase, while military retirees will only see a 0.3% increase.

Federal civil servicemember will receive a 1% across the board pay increase with an additional 0.
Read more . . .


Sunday, October 23, 2016

How is a Will Proven to be Valid During Probate?


You have a valid will, what steps must be taken to make sure that it can properly be admitted into probate?  

For a valid will to be admitted into probate, it must be proven to the court to be the last will and testament of the testator.   Before I explain that, here are the two types of valid wills in Texas. 

  1. A holographic will is a testamentary instrument written solely in the testator’s own handwriting.  It can be attached to a document with typed writing on the document, however to be valid, the will itself must only be in the testator’s handwriting.
  2. An attested will is a testamentary instrument that can be typed or hand written, but is not entirely in the testator’s handwriting.

Read more . . .


Sunday, October 2, 2016

How Does the Servicemember Recoup the Former Spouse's Share of Retired Pay if the Former Spouse Dies First?


When a former spouse (FS) passes away, how long does it take for the retired servicemember (SM) to recover the FS's share of retired pay?   As discussed in a previous blog, a FS's share of military retired pay will only terminate in one of two ways:
  1. On the death of the FS, or
  2. On death of the SM.

Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) Divorce: Basic Employee Death Benefit


In our previous blog about Federal Civil Service Divorce, we discussed that the Employee must have at least 10 years of creditable service before a Former Spouse qualifies in divorce for award of a Former Spouse Survivor Annuity (FSSA).  To read that blog,


Read more . . .


Monday, September 12, 2016

Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) Divorce: Former Spouse Survivor Annity (FSSA) Qualification


In a Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) divorce, the former spouse’s share of the Employee’s annuity stops on the death of the Employee.  Award of a

Read more . . .


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Military Relocation (i.e. PCS) Does Not Require the Military Member or Spouse to Change Domicile


Military members and their spouses do not automatically acquire a new “domicile” when the relocate (“PCS”) to a new duty station in a new State. 

First, let’s distinguish the terms “residence” from “domicile.”  A residence is an address or place where you live.  A domicile is the one residence that you consider to be your permanent home.  To better understand the concept, think of the rich and famous.


Read more . . .


Monday, August 8, 2016

Survivor Benefit Plan Now Transferrable to New Spouse after Former Spouse Dies


Until passage of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), any Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage awarded a former spouse in a military divorce vanished when the former spouse died before the retired servicemember.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Military Retirement System Reform Starting in 2018


The National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-92) has changed the landscape of the military retirement system, as follows:

  1. Persons entering the military on or after January 1, 2018, will be under the new "modernized" retirement system.
  2. Servicemembers with less than 12 years of service as of December 31, 2017 (i.e.
    Read more . . .


Monday, July 11, 2016

Fraudulent Concealment, Destruction or Alteration of a Will


Family dynamics can turn nasty, particularly after a parent or relative dies and a struggle for a portion of the decedent's estate among family members looms.  What, if any, consequences are there if a person deceives others about the existence or content of the decedent's Will?

The Texas Penal Code Section 32.47 establishes that:

  • "A person commits an offense if, with intent to defraud or harm any person, he, destroys, removes, conceals, alters, substitutes, or otherwise impairs the verity [i.e. "truth"], legibility, or availability of a writing, other than a governmental record.

Read more . . .


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