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San Antonio, TX Family Law and Military Divorce Blog

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Contempt: The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Contempt


This is the first in a two-part blog series that looks at the difference between civil and criminal contempt proceedings.  In civil and criminal contempt proceedings, both contain the possibility that the "contemnor" (i.e. the person found to be in contempt) might be jailed.  The story doesn't end there.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

At What Age Can A Child Be Left Home Alone in Texas?


It is not uncommon to get into legal disputes involving children's issues where one parent alleges that the other parent routinely fails to provide adequate supervision because a child is left alone at home occasionally.  For example, I've been involved in squabbles in court involving an 8 year old being alone for as little as 10 minutes on rare occasions while mom was delayed in traffic returning home from her job.  During these disputes, many people are surprised to learn that Texas has no law that specifies the minimum age at which a child can left home alone.
Read more . . .


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Military Divorce and Former Spouse Retired Pay: Situations Where DFAS Might Be Unable to Make Full Payment

When facing military divorce, there are two scenarios where the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) might be unable to make full payment to a former spouse.  The first scenario is where the Servicemember's retired pay is subject to garnishment for more than one former spouse's retired pay entitlement.  The second scenario is where the Servicemember's military retired pay is subject to garnishment for both former spouse retired pay and child support.

In the first scenario, with multiple former spouses entitled to retired pay, the most that DFAS can garnish is 50% of the Servicemember's retired pay.  Garnishment orders are processed by DFAS on a first come, first served basis until the cap is reached.


Read more . . .


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,


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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

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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 . . .


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Alamo Towers West, 901 NE Loop 410, Suite 800, San Antonio, TX 78209
| Phone: 210-762-4502

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