One of the biggest challenges in Texas divorce filings is the property division. It gets even more complicated when one or both parties hold a military pension. What are the options?
Skillful negotiation carries the day
While the law stipulates that states decide how to treat military pay, there is no actual formula you might plug into a computer program. On the contrary, it requires skillful negotiation between the parties to arrive at a decision on how to distribute funds.
You can make it easy on yourselves
If you did not do it before the wedding, you can still set up a legally binding agreement afterward. Attorneys recognize the value of a postnuptial agreement that spells out future property division while things are still going well. In the long run, it can save you plenty of money in attorneys’ fees.
When there is no agreement
The laws regard military pensions as community property. It does not matter how long you and your spouse were married. The court may decide to share the asset how the judge sees fit based on your asset and liabilities statements.
However, there is a ten-year rule when you want to involve the Department of Defense. They look for a ten-year marriage that coincides with military service. If this is the case, the non-military spouse may receive payments directly from the government. Generally, the ex-spouse will not get more than half of the funds in the account.
Jurisdiction is the key
Another important aspect to consider is the jurisdiction. The state law where the service member claims residency prevails. This is true even if the non-military spouse files for divorce in another state.