Military couple holding hands, contemplating divorce

What Makes Military Divorces Different?

Military divorces present unique issues and challenges. If you are a service member and would like to begin the divorce process, it’s important that you understand the differences between military and civilian divorces. In order to ensure that you are prepared for your military divorce, you should contact a Texas divorce attorney as soon as possible for assistance. Below is an overview of what makes military divorces different than civilian divorces. 

Filing State and Military Pension

With a military divorce, a spouse may file for divorce in the state where either spouse has a legal residence. Thus, the spouse initiating the divorce usually files for divorce in the state where he or she lives (as long as he or she has lived there for at least six months). However, before initiating a military divorce, it’s important to determine how the state addresses the division of military pensions. The federal statute that governs military pensions states that the service member’s state of legal residence has the power to divide the military pension in a divorce. Therefore, if a spouse files for divorce in a state that isn’t the military member’s state of legal residence, then the court may lack the authority to divide the pension. 

Divorce Stay

In a civilian divorce, when one spouse serves divorce documents on the other spouse, the responding spouse is required to file a formal response within a certain time period. However, federal law permits an active-duty member of the military to request a stay if he or she needs more time to respond to the court action due to his or her military service. The initial stay in a military divorce is at least 90 days. However, the court can grant extensions beyond 90 days at its discretion. 

Child Support 

State law determines the amount of child support in a divorce. In military divorces, this amount is ordinarily based on basic allowance for housing, base pay, basic allowance for subsistence, and any other special military pay received by the service member. 

Military Pensions

The issue of military pensions is an additional matter that is unique to military divorces. However, determining if and how a military pension is divided in a military divorce can be complicated.  A common misconception is that the spouse of a service member is only entitled to a share of a military pension if he or she has been married to the service member for at least ten years. This isn’t necessarily the case. In a military divorce, the court can grant the non-military spouse whatever share of the service member’s military pension that it deems to be fair. 

Contact our Denton County Divorce and Mediation Lawyer 

If you are seeking a military divorce in Texas, you need an experienced Texas divorce attorney on your side. At Youngberg Law Firm, we understand the intricacies of military divorces and will work to achieve a fair and just outcome on your behalf. Our experienced attorney is equally adept at traditional courtroom divorce and mediation, and we serve clients throughout Denton County, including Flower Mound, Highland Village, Little Elm and Denton. Therefore, if you need assistance with a military divorce, please contact us today for a consultation. 

Cut-out paper couple holding hands.

What Are the Grounds for an Annulment in Texas?

In Texas, a marriage can end in one of three ways: divorce, annulment, or death. Although divorce and annulment ultimately result in the same outcome, there are major differences between the two. As is explained below, an annulment is a declaration by the court that a marriage is not valid. Below is an overview of the grounds for an annulment in Texas. If you have additional questions, please contact a Texas divorce attorney

What is Annulment?

Annulment and divorce achieve the same result in different ways. A divorce ends a valid marriage. An annulment, on the other hand, ends a marriage that wasn’t valid to begin with. When a marriage is ended through annulment, the court determines that the marriage never existed. In other words, the marriage is legally erased. 

Grounds for Annulment in Texas

There are several grounds for annulment in Texas. In order to be eligible for annulment in Texas, an individual must demonstrate that one or more of the following grounds are present:

  • Intoxication – One spouse was too intoxicated during the marriage ceremony to consent to marriage.
  • Impotence – One spouse is permanently unable to have intercourse.
  • Fraud – One spouse misrepresented something essential to the marriage to obtain the other spouse’s consent to marry.
  • Incest – The spouses are related. 
  • Bigamy – One of the spouses was already married when he or she entered into the marriage.
  • Underage – One or both spouses were underage at the time of marriage.
  • Duress or Force – One spouse was forced to enter the marriage. 

Legal Effect of Annulment 

When the court declares a marriage void, it is as if the marriage never existed in the first place. This allows both partners in an annulled marriage to legally state that they were never married to one another. However, the court can still treat certain issues in an annulment similar to a standard divorce, such as child custody, child support, visitation, property division, and alimony. In addition, the children of annulled marriages are considered legitimate, which means that they have the same rights as children from valid marriages. The children of annulled marriages have inheritance rights and the right to receive financial support from both parents.

Contact an Attorney Today 

If you would like to annul your marriage in Texas, you need an aggressive and experienced Texas divorce attorney on your side. At Youngberg Law Firm, attorney Mike Youngberg is experienced in all facets of the Texas divorce and annulment processes, and he will work hard to ensure that you obtain a successful result in your Texas annulment or divorce. In addition, our talented Texas attorney can assist you with issues like child custody, child support, modifications of existing orders, enforcements, characterization of property, spousal maintenance, protective orders, and temporary restraining orders. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Couple going through a divorce.

Will a Divorce Affect My Pension?

If you’ve worked for a company or public entity for a significant period, it’s quite possible that you’re entitled to a pension when you retire. However, if you’re considering a divorce in Texas, you should understand the effect that divorce can have on your ability to collect your full pension. Below is an overview of the ways in which a divorce may affect your pension in Texas. If you have additional questions, please contact a property division lawyer for assistance. 

Texas is a Community Property State

Texas is a community property state, which means that both spouses own property acquired during the marriage. Property that one spouse inherits or is gifted during the marriage, however, is considered that spouse’s separate property, and it is not subject to division upon divorce. Property that a spouse acquired before the marriage is also considered separate property. Therefore, pension funds earned after marriage are considered community property unless an exception applies. 

The Property Division Process in Texas

After the court classifies your property as either separate or community property, it begins the process of dividing community property between you and your spouse. Usually, Texas courts set pensions aside until the end of the property division process in order to first consider the amount of other community property awarded to a spouse. When dividing community property, including pensions, Texas courts consider multiple factors to ensure that the property division result is fair and just. Factors considered include:

  • The length of marriage,
  • Each spouse’s age,
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity and education level,
  • Whether one spouse is the primary caregiver of children,
  • The value of any separate property, and
  • Fault in the breakup of the marriage.

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders in Texas

Once the court determines the amount of your pension to allocate to your spouse, it executes a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”). The QDRO is then delivered to the pension plan administrator. In order to be valid, the QDRO must contain specific information, including:

  • The addresses of both spouses,
  • The names of each pension plan to which the QDRO applies,
  • The amount to be paid to your spouse, 
  • The number of payments the spouse will receive, and
  • The time period to which the QDRO applies.

Retirement Account Valuation

Most people going through a divorce will not have their property divided by the court but will reach an agreement either in mediation or through an informal settlement process. It is important that you and your attorney know the difference between different retirement plans because the true value of a retirement account is greatly affected by the form the account takes. A 401(k) is not the same as a pension, which is different from a Roth IRA. It is important that you and your attorney know the difference between these accounts and the proper way to value them, in order to make sure that your interests are protected.

Contact an Attorney Today 

If you are seeking a divorce in Texas, you need an aggressive and experienced divorce attorney on your side. At Youngberg Law Firm, in addition to helping you navigate your Texas divorce, attorney Mike Youngberg will negotiate on your behalf during the property division process, taking the steps necessary to ensure that you come away with a reasonable and just property division agreement. In addition, our talented Texas attorney can help you with issues like child custody, child support, modifications of existing orders, enforcements, characterization of property, spousal maintenance, protective orders, and temporary restraining orders. Our experienced family law attorneys serve clients throughout Denton County, including Flower Mound, Highland Village, Little Elm and Denton. Therefore, if you need a family law attorney in Texas, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Lawyer looking over a spousal maintenance agreement.

Factors That Could Terminate Spousal Maintenance Agreements

Following a divorce in Texas, the court allows for the payment of spousal maintenance (sometimes called alimony or spousal support) from one former spouse to the other. However, under certain circumstances, the paying spouse may petition the court to terminate spousal maintenance payments. Whether you are interested in pursuing or fighting a modification or termination of your spousal maintenance or alimony, please review the information below and contact a Denton County modification attorney as soon as possible for assistance. 

Remarriage

In Texas, a paying spouse’s obligation to pay spousal maintenance ends when his or her former spouse remarries. Upon remarriage of the alimony recipient, the paying spouse may stop sending alimony payments immediately—a court order isn’t necessary. However, if the paying spouse is behind on alimony payments, he or she must still pay these regardless of the other spouse’s marital status.  

Cohabitation

Cohabitation occurs when two people involved in a romantic relationship live together on a continuous basis. In Texas, a paying spouse may cease making alimony or spousal maintenance payments when his or her former spouse begins to cohabitate with another person. However, unlike remarriage, the paying spouse is not permitted to immediately case payments upon the cohabitation of his or her ex. Rather, the paying spouse must file a motion with the family court requesting to cease payments due to cohabitation. The paying spouse must also provide evidence to the court of cohabitation. 

Significant Changes

The other way to terminate or modify a spousal maintenance order in Texas is to demonstrate to the court that there has been a significant change in the circumstances of either spouse. This option is available to both the paying and receiving spouse. Following any type of significant spousal maintenance order. For example, if the paying spouse suffers a significant decrease in income, the court may decide to decrease or terminate alimony payments. On the other hand, if the alimony recipient can prove that his or her needs have significantly increased or that the paying spouse’s income has significantly increased, the court can increase the amount of alimony that the paying spouse must provide. 

Contact our modifications attorney today 

Regardless of whether you’re seeking to modify or terminate a spousal maintenance agreement or are opposed to modification or termination, one thing’s for sure—you need an experienced Denton County Attorney on your side. And if you’re located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Youngberg Law Firm in Corinth is here to help. Not only do we have experience in this unique area of divorce law, but we can represent you regardless of which side you’re on. When you choose Youngberg Law Firm to represent you in your modification or termination case, attorney Mike Youngberg will use his experience and professional insight to guide you through the modification or termination process. Please contact us today for a consultation.

Youngberg Law Firm discusses some basics of property division in divorces.

Texas Divorce Property Division Basics

In any divorce, one of the primary issues to be addressed is the division of property. However, contrary to popular belief, property isn’t always divided right down the middle. Rather, Texas courts are required by law to divide property in a manner that is “just and right.” However, despite legal guidelines that are intended to help judges make “just and right” decisions, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to obtain an unfavorable property division result in his or her Texas divorce. Often, these types of undesirable outcomes are the result of a failure to obtain adequate legal representation. Therefore, if you need a divorce in Texas and want to increase your chances of a successful outcome, please review the information below, and contact a Texas divorce attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. 

Community Property

Texas is a community property state, which means that all property and income acquired by either spouse during the marriage belongs equally to both parties. Therefore, spouses are required to split community property equally when they divorce. In addition, all debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage are considered community debts, and they too are divided equally. However, for purposes of property division, “equal” doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split. Rather, the judge in a Texas divorce case examines various factors to determine a just and right division of all community debt and property. 

Separate Property 

As noted above, Texas is a community property state, meaning that property and income acquired during the marriage must be divided equitably upon divorce. However, this doesn’t apply to separate property. In Texas, the property may be classified as separate if:

  • One spouse owned it prior to the wedding and kept it separate during the marriage
  • It was personally given to one spouse as a gift
  • It was personally inherited by one spouse
  • One spouse received it as a certain type of award from a personal injury lawsuit or settlement 

Contact Our Denton County Property Division Lawyer  

During the divorce process, property division tends to be a contentious issue. Therefore, if you are seeking a divorce in Texas, you need an experienced attorney on your side. In addition to walking you through the divorce process, our experienced Denton attorney will negotiate on your behalf during the property division process, providing you with the best possible legal representation so that you will come away with a property division agreement that is reasonable and just. 

Also, our talented Texas attorney can assist you with issues like child custody, child support, modifications of existing orders, enforcements, characterization of property, spousal maintenance, temporary restraining orders, and protective orders. Finally, our attorney understands the emotional and financial toll that a family law case can take on a person, so you can rest assured that he will handle your case with patience, compassion, and understanding. If you need a family law attorney in Texas, please contact us today for a consultation. 

 

Youngberg Law Firm discusses what same-sex couples should know about a divorce in Texas.

What Same-Sex Couples Should Know About Divorce in Texas

Ever since the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, same-sex couples in Texas have had questions regarding their rights. Generally speaking, same-sex couples enjoy the same rights as other married couples, including the ability to obtain a divorce. However, in order to obtain a divorce in Texas, married couples must meet certain requirements. If you’re a spouse in a same-sex marriage and would like to obtain a divorce in Texas, please review the information below, and contact a Texas divorce attorney for a consultation. 

Residency requirements

In order to file a suit for divorce in Texas, either the petitioner or respondent must have been a domiciliary of the state for the preceding six months and a resident of the county where the suit is filed for the preceding 90 days. 

Divorce by a non-resident spouse

As long as one spouse in a same-sex marriage has been a domiciliary of Texas for at least the previous six months, then a spouse domiciled outside of Texas is permitted to file a divorce suit in the county where the domiciliary spouse resides at the time of filing.

Jurisdiction over a non-resident respondent 

If the spouse in a same-sex marriage who files for divorce is a domiciliary or resident of Texas at the time he or she files the suit for dissolution of marriage, then the court may exercise personal jurisdiction over the other spouse even though he or she isn’t a Texas resident if:

  • Texas is the last marital residence of the couple, and the suit is filed prior to the second anniversary of the date on which the spouses ceased living together.
  • There is any basis that is consistent with the constitutions of Texas and the United States for Texas to exercise personal jurisdiction over the matter.

Same-sex divorce grounds 

The following are grounds for divorce in Texas:

  • Insupportability (no-fault)
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Abandonment
  • Living apart
  • Confinement in a mental institution 

Contact us today to begin the same-sex divorce process

If you are seeking a same-sex divorce in Texas, you need an experienced attorney on your side. In addition to walking you through the divorce process, our experienced Denton attorney will negotiate on your behalf during the property division process, providing you with the best possible legal representation so that you will come away with a property division agreement that is reasonable and just. 

Our talented Texas attorney can also assist you with issues like child custody, child support, modifications of existing orders, enforcements, characterization of property, spousal maintenance, temporary restraining orders, and protective orders. Finally, our attorney understands the emotional and financial toll that a Texas divorce case can take on a person, so you can rest assured that he will handle your case with patience, compassion, and understanding. If you need a divorce in Texas, please contact us today for a consultation.