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Agreed Divorce

Saturday, January 25, 2020

How Recoupment of Separation Incentive Pay Impacts Former Spouse Pay


Some servicemembers left the service by taking Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) pay or Special Separation Bonus (SSB) pay and later returned to military duty and qualified for either an active duty or reserve component retirement.  So, what happens to the VSI or SSB payments the servicemember received?

DFAS will recoup the amount of VSI or SSB it paid.  Generally, recoupment starts about 3 months after the now retired member begins to receive retired pay.  The recoupment rate is 40 percent of the retired member's retired pay per month until the full recoupment has been satisfied.  Retired members may apply for a hardship reduction in the amount recouped.


Read more . . .


Monday, November 25, 2019

DFAS Says I Need a Clarification Order - Must My Ex-Spouse Be Served?


Yes, when DFAS tells a former spouse that a clarification order is necessary to receive former spouse retired pay, the ex-spouse/Servicemember "must" be served with notice of the clarification proceeding.  The former spouse cannot simply claim the Court has jurisdiction over the Servicemember because of a prior proceeding (e.g. the divorce decree).  In fact, the clarification proceeding requires that jurisdiction over the Servicemember be established (one might say, "re-established") through one of the three methods specified in the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), which are as follows:


Read more . . .


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Can Former Spouse Retired Pay Payments Be Stopped?


The answer to the question of whether a former spouse's retired pay payments can be stopped is, "it depends."  The Dep't of Defense regulation governing this subject matter states the following:

  • "Unless the court order specifies otherwise, payments will stop upon [DFAS's] receipt of notice of the death of either party.  Payments will be prorated for the month of death of either party."   See Note 1, below.
  • "Unless the court order specifies otherwise, retired pay award payments will not stop upon [DFAS's] receipt of notice of the former spouse's remarriage.

Read more . . .


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Cap for Calculating Guidline Child Support Set to Increase September 1, 2019


The cap for "net resources" when calculating guideline child support increases from $8,550 to $9,200, effective September 1, 2019.  The Office of the Attorney General Child Support Division (OAG) recently announced the coming change. 

OAG manages the child support system for Texas.
Read more . . .


Sunday, July 21, 2019

What Happens to Former Spouse Retired Pay When the Former Spouse Dies Before the Servicemember


After a military divorce, when a Former Spouse predeceases the Servicemember, the Former Spouse's share of disposable retired pay returns to the Servicemember.1  Former Spouse retired pay cannot be "sold, assigned, transferred, or otherwise disposed of (including by inheritance).2"

Ironically, the same cannot be said for a Former Spouse's share of a Read more . . .


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Is There a Cap to Child Support in Texas Divorce?


In the vast majority of cases, the answer to whether there is a "cap" to child support in divorce is, "yes."  The Texas Family Code caps "net resources" available for child support at $8,550.00.  In determining "net resources," the Family Code includes the following:

  1. Wages, salary, commissions, overtime pay, tips and bonuses;
  2. Interests, dividends, and royalties;
  3. Self-employment income;
  4. Severance pay, retirement benefits, Social Security benefits (other than Supplemental Security Income or SSI), and VA disability compensation.

In Texas, if one child is at issue (and assuming the paying parent has no other children from prior marriages or relationships for which that parent has a legal duty of support), child support is as follows:

  1. One child: 20% of net resources, which equals $1,710.

Read more . . .


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Pre-Divorce Designation of Spouse as Life Insurance Beneficiary

If your spouse is designated as your life insurance beneficiary, and you later divorce, the Texas Family Code establishes that your now ex-spouse will not be treated as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, unless one of three conditions exist:1

  1. Your decree of divorce names the ex-spouse as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy;
  2.  You re-designate your ex-spouse as your beneficiary after the divorce; or,
  3.  Your ex-spouse is designated to receive your life insurance proceeds in trust for, on behalf of, or for the benefit of a child or dependent of yours or your former spouse.

The provision above does not apply to life insurance policies provided by the Federal Government.2  For example, if a Servicemember divorces, later remarries and neglects to name his new spouse instead of his ex-spouse as his Servicemember's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) beneficiary, the ex-spouse will receive the life insurance proceeds because that person is the named beneficiary.3


Read more . . .


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Military Divorce and Changes to VA Disability Compensation


In military divorce, a Servicemember receiving VA Disability Compensation must remember to notify the VA that they no longer have a spouse.  This is done using VA Form 21-686c, which is available on the VA's website (i.e. enter "VA Form 21-686c" into your browser's search and download the form from the VA's website).  The form includes the mailing address to which the Servicemember should mail the form to the VA.


Read more . . .


Friday, December 28, 2018

Legislative Threat to Texas "No Fault" Divorce


In the current Texas Legislative session, House Bill 93 would repeal the "no-fault" divorce provision in the Texas Family Code (i.e. repeal the "insupportabiity" ground for divorce, which only requires testimony of one spouse that the legitimate aims of marriage have been destroyed and there is no reasonable chance of reconciliation).  The Texas State Bar took a survey of Texas attorneys on their  perspective on whether Texas should repeal the "no-fault" divorce provision and what it might mean.  The survey results included the following:

  • 93% of attorneys who responded to the survey opposed the repeal of the no-fault divorce provision.

Read more . . .


Monday, December 17, 2018

Retiree COLA for January 1, 2019

Most military retirees, Federal civil service retirees and recipients of VA disability compensation will receive a 2.8 percent cost of living adjustment in their payments due on or about January 1, 2019 and throughout 2019.

 


Read more . . .


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Separation Agreements in Texas


The Texas Family Code contains no provision for "legal separation."  Nevertheless, it is possible for spouses to contract for rights, duties and obligations contained in a properly executed separation agreement.

To be valid and enforceable, the separation agreement should be:

  1. In writing;
  2. Signed by the spouses;
  3. Entered into without coercion, duress, or undue influence;
  4. Conform with the requirements for a Partition and Exchange Agreement if community property is intended divided and become each respective spouse's separate property, and,
  5. Be fair and equitable.

A separation agreement executed or existing while the spouses are still living together is void as a matter of public policy.  The spouses must be living apart at the time of execution of the separation agreement, or be living apart at the time one spouse seeks to enforce the terms of the separation agreement.

Author Jim Cramp is a retired active duty colonel and the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm, PLLC.  The firm provides a spectrum of family law-related services to clients in the greater San Antonio region, across the United States and throughout the world.  The firm specializes in Federal Civil Service and Military Divorce matters. 


Read more . . .


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| Phone: 210-762-4502

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