Asking whether military spouses are unfaithful is a highly fact-specific question. It would be pretty irresponsible for me to say one way or another that military spouses are unfaithful given the dramatic difference in circumstances, personalities, and other issues surrounding each person who is an army spouse. I can say that military spouses and military families are impacted by extramarital affairs just like civilian families are. Given this reality, we need to walk through what a divorce looks like for military families. Specifically- I would like to pose here some questions that I have received from military members and spouses previously and then provide some answers to those questions.
How long does a divorce take?
A divorce in Texas can vary in length a great deal. For starters, from the day that you file your divorce, a minimum length of time for a divorce to take in Texas would be 60 days. This is not just my general opinion or experience on divorces. Instead, it is the statutorily mandated minimum length of time for a divorce to take. You may be wondering why divorces must take 60 days to complete in Texas. The reasoning, best as I can tell, is that the State legislature wants people like you and your spouse to have some time to consider whether or not you want to get a divorce. I’m sure you could imagine that if there were no minimum length of time that a divorce needed to take, more people would likely be getting divorced each day. More importantly, many of those people would end up regretting the divorce later on. So, the State of Texas wants to give you some time to decide whether the divorce is right for you.
Generally speaking, getting divorced in Texas can take anywhere from the two months that we just finished discussing up to a year in length. Just as you and your spouse are unique individuals who are going through divorce together, the factors and circumstances of your case are unique to the two of you as well. For that reason, you would be hard-pressed to gain an accurate estimate of a time link for your divorce without speaking with an experienced family law attorney who is aware of your specific circumstances. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan offer free of charge consultations each day to answer that question for you with the best estimate.
In general, the more significant number of disagreements that you and your spouse have in terms of your case, the more likely your divorce is to take longer. The more the two of you can agree on the various subjects related to your divorce, the more likely you all will be able to come up with settlement agreements and, therefore, fast-track your case towards a conclusion. This is as opposed to a circumstance where the two of you need to attend temporary orders hearings and a trial to complete your claim. Once a judge has to play a tiebreaker in the case, you are more likely to spend a lengthier period of your life involved in this divorce.
For a military family, this can be incredibly stressful. You may be going through a period of transition in your life where you are going from active duty military to retired or even being reassigned to a new place to live. If you are a military spouse, you have your children to be concerned with and any other standard family-related matters that may be involved with moving off base or even finding work for yourself. We want to be sensitive towards these transitional times in our lives, and going through a divorce can exacerbate those problems.
Bear in mind that the longer your divorce takes to complete, it is more likely that you will be spending more significant sums of money on your case. Family law attorneys bill by the hour. This means that the more hours spent working on your topic, the more your attorney will bill you. Bear in mind that the longer your case goes on, the more amount of money you will likely have to commit to having an attorney represent you. Even if you choose not to have an attorney represent you, you will still be spending a great deal of your time and effort on a divorce that could be spent elsewhere, such as on your family, marriage, work, and generally on your military service duties.
In military divorces, unique issues are surrounding the topic of where you file for divorce as well. For instance, consider a situation where you have resided in Texas for an extended period, but your family has not. So long as you have lived in Texas for at least six months and in the county where you plan to file for at least three, then that Texas family court has jurisdiction over your case. However, if you file in Texas, you may find that your spouse attempts to file for divorce in the state where they reside. This can lead to a contested situation where you have to argue why jurisdiction is proper in Texas rather than in your spouse’s residing state. As we just finished talking about, this will increase your case’s overall time and dollar commitments even if you end up being successful.
What are the grounds that a military member or spouse can utilize to get a divorce?
Every state in the US allows for no-fault divorces. This means that you can get a divorce for no specific reason at all other than discord or conflict in your personality. Years ago, you would need to specify a particular explanation of why you have filed for divorce. Now all you need to do is want to get divorced to get the divorce that you seek. Your spouse cannot stop you from getting the divorce even if they do not agree to it. As long as you file a Petition for Divorce, follow the divorce process, and meet the deadlines required of you by your court, then you can get divorced.
Abandonment, cruelty, and adultery are just a few of the fault grounds that you can assert when it comes to a divorce in Texas. You may be asking yourself: what benefit is there to specifying fault grounds for divorce when you can get a divorce without a problem by going the “no-fault” route. The reason why getting a divorce on no-fault grounds may not be as beneficial for you has to do with financial issues in the divorce. Specifically, if you can successfully prove fault grounds in your divorce, then you may be entitled to spousal maintenance or a disproportionate share of your community estate.
What if you are pregnant? Can you still file for divorce?
A classic military story involves you, like the military spouse being pregnant at home while your husband is across the globe or at least across the country. You can still file for divorce from your husband even if you are pregnant. You may have concerns about going through a divorce (and possibly labor) while pregnant. However, you can legally file for and obtain a divorce while pregnant.
While you file for divorce, keep in mind that you can seek child support for any born-children of yours and temporary spousal support if you can show that you are unable to meet your minimal, basic needs during the case. You cannot obtain permission for your unborn child. Once the baby is born, you can go back and adjust your child support figure to compensate for your baby being born. The presumption in Texas is that if you are pregnant during a divorce, then that child is your husband’s.
If the child you are pregnant with is not your husband’s child, then you have a much more complex situation to contend with. Genetic testing should be performed at the request of you, your spouse, or the judge. Once the child is born, testing will be conducted to determine parentage. If your husband is shown not to be the father of the child, then he will not be responsible for child support for your baby. Your husband may be well served by challenging paternity by filing a denial of paternity with the court or with the bureau of vital statistics in Austin.
Will you have to go to court for your divorce?
This is an important question that many people ask about divorce. Filing for divorce is one thing, but going to court for the divorce is another thing altogether. It is worthwhile for you to find out whether or not it will be likely a court date should be expected in your case. Simply filing for divorce does not mean that you will necessarily have to go to court. Like with every other issue that we have talked about in today’s blog post, the reality of going to court or not for your case depends upon the specific circumstances of your case. However, I can tell you that from my experience, the likelihood of your case going to court for a temporary order hearing or trial is minimal. Instead, more minor hearings could occur along the way.
To begin your divorce, you need to file an original petition in the court that you choose which also has jurisdiction on the case. From there, you would need to serve notice upon your spouse, typically by a constable or private process server. The remote process server or constable would hand paperwork to your spouse. Use him or her the formal notice that a divorce has been filed against him or her. You may be wondering how the service of your military spouse would work because they live on base either Within Texas or outside the state of Texas. The reality of the situation is that you still have to serve your spouse just as you would if they were a civilian.
This means that you may need to perform more research into the mechanics of serving your spouse while they are on base. For example, your spouse’s particular military branch may have specific requirements for allowing process servers on the ground to do their job. Or, you may need to look into hiring a person to serve your spouse who is affiliated with the military somehow. Either way, specific instructions will need to follow as far as performing this necessary step. Remember that just because you file for divorce does not mean that your divorce is truly begun. Instead, you must serve your spouse properly with notice of the divorce for the case to truly begin. Otherwise, what you have done is file some documents at the courthouse without them having much impact on you or your spouse.
Once your spouse has been notified of the divorce, they will have an obligation to file an answer to Titian within 20 days of the date on which they were served. After that step has been accomplished, can your divorce indeed be said to have begun? Both you and your spouse will likely need to file inventory in appraisements with the court showing your opinion on the status of your community in separate states as well as hypothetical values of the property that you own. This will give the judge an indication of where you are in terms of property and the need to divide up your community estate later in the divorce.
Another critical aspect of the case at the beginning of the process will be the need to conduct discovery in all likelihood. Discovery is a process whereby both you and your spouse will be able to require mists for information, documents, and responses to questions that can be used to help prepare for a trial or mediation. Not every case involving divorce involves a discovery period; however, it is a wise idea to at least consider following through with discovery. The last thing you want to do is get a divorce without feeling some of the most important information involved in your case. Your spouse may be kept formation from you either purpose open him or unprinted vertically. Discovery will help limit the ability of your spouse to perform this type of action to your detriment.
It is common to disagree with your spouse on various points related to your divorce at the beginning of the case rates. After all, called probably wouldn’t be getting a divorce from your spouse if you agreed on just about all the issues related to your life and marriage period; however, that does not mean that your case is bound for the courthouse. Many times you and your spouse may be able to agree on the various issues of your case. There is something about the relatively long nature of a divorce that lends itself towards amicable resolution through negotiation and communication between the two of you. Do not lose hope and this type of outcome despite any frustrations with your spouse at the beginning of a divorce.
One of the significant reasons why a divorce trial may not be necessary for your situation is due to mediation being utilized far and wide these days by divorce courts. Mediation involves you and your spouse mutually agreeing to a third-party attorney intervening in the case in hopes of helping you all settle on any outstanding issues. A mediated settlement agreement would result in any deals or settlements reached in your mediation session. From there, You can work to divide up your community into a state, establish child support, child custody orders in a possession schedule. In a trial, all the issues that a judge would need to discuss with you would be solvable between you and your spouse in mediation.
Having the ability to file for divorce without the knowledge of your spouse can be two years. However, I would like to begin tomorrow’s blog posts by discussing this subject. Namely: are there advantages to filing for divorce first? Stay tuned tomorrow as we discuss this topic about military divorces.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the material discussed in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case. Thank you so much for being so interested in our law office. We hope that you will join us again tomorrow as we continue to share relevant and interesting information about the world of Texas family law.