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Military Divorce

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Important Change to Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act


The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) made an important change to the definition of disposable military retired pay in the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) found at 10 U.S.C. § 1408.  The change affects the division of property in divorce decrees or domestic relations orders dated December 23, 2016 and after.


Read more . . .


Friday, April 7, 2017

Should a Servicemember (or Anyone) Fear a Geographical Restriction When It Is Time to Relocate?


Servicemembers are frequently ordered to leave their location and move to another county in Texas, another state or another country.  These moves are most often required for continued military service and rarely are they done by request.  If a servicemember has children, and a court has ordered a geographic restriction on your residence with the children to a county or counties in Texas, what does this mean for a servicemember's future military career?   Should they fear the restriction preventing them from moving their family to a new location? 

If your move to a new county, state or country is a purely economic move, the courts generally understand your situation.  Purely economic move means, the move is for the benefit of your family to maintain your career in the armed forces or it is required by the military for continued advancement of your military career.  Further, without the move, your ability provide the quality of life that your family has become accustomed to will no longer be possible without the move.


Read more . . .


Monday, January 30, 2017

Military Retiree to FERS Retiree - How Credit for Military Service Affects a Former Spouse


Military retirees are permitted by OPM regulations to waive receipt of military retired pay in order to credit their military service towards a Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) annuity.  How does this affect a former spouse receiving former spouse military retired pay?  It doesn't.

OPM regulations will not permit a retired servicemember to waive military retired pay for inclusion in calculating a FERS annuity unless the servicemember consents to OPM paying the former spouse from the FERS annuity an equal amount that he or she is entitled to received as former spouse military retired pay.  If the servicemember refuses to consent, then OPM will not allow credit for military service. 

Waiver of military retired pay commences the day prior the start the servicemember's retirement from civil service and start of the FERS annuity.


Read more . . .


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Contempt: Part 2 – Criminal Contempt


This is the second of a two-part blog series on the differences between civil and criminal contempt.  This blog will focus on criminal contempt.  If you wish to first read the first blog on civil contempt, click here.
Read more . . .


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 . . .


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 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 . . .


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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