Military Divorce Lawyers in Houston
While divorce is never easy, it can become even more challenging when one or more spouses are members of the military. Since military divorces have unique challenges, it is essential for both military service members and their spouses to understand their rights. If you are considering or undergoing a military divorce in Houston, an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate this transition.
At Stepp & Sullivan, our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience helping military service members and military spouses protect their rights as they move their lives forward. Your understanding of your rights may profoundly impact areas of your life such as property, finances, and child custody. When you partner with us, we will ensure you understand your rights and work with you to protect your future.
What Makes Military Divorces Different?
Several state and federal laws govern military divorces, making them incredibly legally complex. One significant difference in a military divorce is that the divorce papers must be personally served to active duty service members. There are no exceptions to this rule. Due to this strict requirement, divorce timelines may be significantly impacted if one spouse is deployed overseas.
Service members may also be allowed extra time to respond to being served divorce papers. According to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), active-duty service members have an additional 90 days to respond. They may also be allowed to delay the hearing process for 90 days. An experienced military divorce lawyer can help you navigate the unique proceedings surrounding military divorces while helping you protect your family, assets, and interests.
How Will My Divorce Impact My Military Benefits?
Many service members and their spouses often worry about losing their military benefits due to the divorce. Fortunately, a skilled Houston military divorce lawyer can help you understand your rights as well as whether you can retain your benefits. If you are an active duty service member, you will retain your benefits regardless of your marital status. On the other hand, military spouses may lose benefits such as TRICARE, access to the commissary, and the use of their military IDs. However, military spouses may be able to retain their benefits under the 20-20-20 rule. In order to qualify for military benefits after the divorce, you must meet the following criteria:
- You were married for at least 20 years
- Your spouse was in the military for at least 20 years
- 20 years of your marriage must overlap with 20 years of your spouse’s active military duty
If the above criteria apply to you, you may be eligible for military benefits for the rest of your life. Your Houston military divorce lawyer will review every aspect of your case to determine which benefits you may be eligible to retain.
How Can a Military Divorce Attorney Help Me?
While active duty service members and military spouses have access to military legal counsel, these attorneys are only able to help with specific issues. Unfortunately, military legal personnel cannot represent you during the divorce process since it must be handled in a civil court. Some military couples may be tempted to handle their divorces on their own. Still, due to the complexity of military divorces, it is vital to have a Houston military divorce lawyer on your side to represent your interests and protect your rights. One of the many ways the skilled military divorce attorneys at Stepp & Sullivan can help you include the following:
- Helping you protect your military benefits and retirement
- Ensuring you understand the scope of the SCRA
- Providing objective advice on a challenging situation
- Accounting for any and all marital assets
- Determining spousal support and the division of property
- Helping with child custody plans
- Negotiating a favorable divorce settlement
- Representing your rights and interests inside and outside of court
At Stepp & Sullivan, we recognize that no two military divorces are exactly the same and are committed to taking a personalized approach to your unique legal needs. When you retain our services, you can trust us to work with you to negotiate the best settlement possible and help you move your life forward after your divorce.
Consult With a Trusted Houston Military Divorce Attorney
Although no one expects their marriage to end in divorce, there are circumstances where separation is inevitable. The stakes are too high to go without experienced and unbiased legal representation if you are an active duty service member or military spouse. If you are going through a military divorce in Houston or anywhere in the U.S., the skilled attorneys at Stepp & Sullivan may be able to help. We have decades of experience protecting the rights of military service members and spouses and helping them protect their futures after a divorce. To discuss your next steps with an experienced Houston military divorce attorney, call us today at (713) 336-7200 or complete our contact form.