Divorce in El Paso, Texas

Military Divorce and Retirement

Texas community property law provides that property acquired during the marriage belongs to both the husband and the wife equally. While there are exceptions, a person's military retirement benefit is not one of them.

Under The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA), the United States requires the military to:

  • Recognize the right of state divorce courts to divide military retirement among divorcing spouses; and
  • Provide a method of enforcing orders from a divorce court through the Department of Defense.

The maximum amount of disposable retired pay that the non-member spouse can receive is 50%. However, a 50% split is not always appropriate. In order for your lawyer to calculate the correct percentage, you must supply him or her with a complete history of your military service from date of enlistment. This history needs to include each pay grade you have held and the beginning and ending dates for each rank.

The 10/10 Rule

Most people have the wrong idea about this Rule. They think that the nonmember spouse cannot get any portion of the member's military retirement if they have been married less than ten years.

This is not the case.

The 10/10 Rule simply states that, in order for the former nonmember spouse to enforce collection of his or her share of the retirement, the servicemember must have 10 years of creditable service and the couple must have been married for ten years.

In other words, you can be married for 1 day in Texas and some portion of military retirement is community property. However, after the divorce court divides that retirement benefit, the nonmember former spouse cannot rely upon DFAS to garnish the servicemember's retirement check and pay her directly. Instead, she must rely upon her former spouse to cut the check to her.

If the 10/10 Rule is satisfied, the former spouse should complete Form DD2293 and send it, with a certified copy of the divorce decree or other order that divides the retirement, to:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
Cleveland DFAS-DGG/CL
PO Box 998002
Cleveland Ohio 44199-8002
(866) 859-1845 (toll free Customer Service)

Jim K. Jopling
Attorney at Law
747 East San Antonio, Suite 103
El Paso, Texas 79912

(915) 541-6099

Toll Free Facsimile:
(866) 864-6854