There are more Texans in the U.S. Military than from any other state except California. Therefore, we frequently run into special legal issues in the family law world regarding our service members. As the son of a career USMC officer and the grandson of a World War 2 veteran, Mr. Walters is particularly familiar with these issues. Our firm has handled many such cases.
The most common challenge facing service members and their spouses is their residence. Texas requires a 6-month residency, including three months in the county where you intend to file for divorce or other family law actions. This is not always practical, considering how often service members are deployed overseas, TDY and PCS. Military families are also often separated, making it unclear where the appropriate jurisdiction lies.
The Soldier & Sailor Act of 1943 (and related laws) dictate some of this. You cannot pursue a lawsuit of any kind (including a family law matter) against a service member deployed overseas. As with any law, there are some exceptions and modifications of that law. Consult with a competent attorney about these matters.
The modification and enforcement of existing family orders from other states are also a significant concern. For example, if a couple got divorced in California, and the husband is now deployed to Texas - how does the father enforce his visitation rights? How does the mother make sure she is paid child support? How would a military pension be divided? All of these questions have answers, but they are complex.
Be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Texas Family Law for more information.