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Agreed Divorce

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 . . .


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What to do When Former Spouse Dies Before the Military Retiree


In military divorce, when the former spouse dies before the military retiree, former spouse retired pay payments stop.  The monthly payments that were going to the former spouse return to the military retiree.  How do you notify DFAS to make this happen?

DFAS requires written documentation regarding the death of a former spouse that includes a copy of the death certificate.
Read more . . .


Monday, July 2, 2018

Name Change in Divorce


Sometimes in divorce, the question of "can I change my name at divorce to anything I want?"  The answer is, "no."  Texas Family Code Section 45.105 governs names changes in divorce.  The code states the party may request a name change to "a prior used name."  If you've been married more than once, you can change your name to a name used in a previous marriage or your maiden name.
Read more . . .


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Former Spouse Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) "Base Amount" - Avoiding A "Death Windfall"


Under all conditions, former spouse retired pay stops at the servicemember's death. SBP is a purchased annuity that provides a replacement stream of income to a former spouse who outlives the servicemember.  

The SBP "base amount" is the amount of the servicemember's gross retired pay that is insured.  By default, the base amount is the full amount of retired pay.  The base amount can be anything between the servicemember's gross retired pay but not less than $300.


Read more . . .


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Visitation Schedule Concerns for the "Non-Primary" Parent


With respect to children and visitation in divorce, the norm in Texas is to name the parents “Joint Managing Conservators” with one of the conservators having the right to designate the primary residence of the children (with or without geographic restriction.   Being a Joint Managing Conservator means both parents have equal rights with respect to the children.  It does not mean that both parents have equal time of possession.
Read more . . .


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Federal Employee Death Prior to 10 Years Service and Survivor Annuities

In a Federal Civil Service divorce, will for former spouse who has been awarded a Former Spouse Survivor Annuity always collect on that annuity after the death of the employee?  Not always.

Federal law provides that if the employee completed at least 18 months service, but LESS THAN 10 YEARS SERVICE at time of death, then the former spouse only is entitled to the Basic Employee Death Benefit.  This remains true even if a divorce decree and court order accepted by OPM had ordered a Former Spouse Survivor Annuity. 

The Basic Employee Death Benefit is as follows:

  1. Fifty percent of the final annual rate of basic pay of the employee; plus,
  2. Fifteen thousand dollars (adjusted annually by cost-of-living adjustments for retirees since 12/0/1987; currently in 2017 worth slightly more than $32,423).

Read more . . .


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Not Sure If Your Spouse Has A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Account?


TSP can provide a spouse with the plan participants account statements to help the spouse, in divorce, develop a proper court order. The information that TSP will provide includes:

  • Participant's account balance;
  • Participant's outstanding loan balance, if any; and,
  • Annual or Quarterly statements for the period requested.

 A subpoena is not required to obtain the info above.  A proper written request from the spouse, or the spouse's attorney, is sufficient.  A proper request must include:

  • Participant's name and account number OR social security number;
  • The name of the person requesting the info and the relationship of that person to the Participant;
  • A description of the information needed (e.

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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