San Antonio, Texas divorce lawyer J. Michael Clay has successfully represented military service members involved in divorce cases and other family law proceedings in Bexar County, Texas, and in surrounding counties. Divorce suits in San Antonio, Texas, or any other place, for that matter, present special challenges and require detailed knowledge of Texas divorce law and federal law on the part of the service member's attorney. J. Michael Clay has the knowledge, skill and experience to represent military service members in divorce and all other types of family law cases.
The primary issues which often come up in divorces involving military service members are:
- Retirement issues, including SBP elections, and other issues;
- Computation of child support obligations;
- Unique child custody and visitation issues in the case of overseas deployment or TDY; and
- Invocation of rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Military retirement is the single most misunderstood issue by military clients. Many service members mistakenly believe that his or her spouse is not entitled to any share of the service member's military retirement unless the parties have been married for at least 10 years. This is simply not true. Whether or not military retirement benefits, or any portion thereof, is divisible as community property is left up to the individual states, subject to certain limitations. For example, federal law provides that VA disability benefits are NOT subject to being divided as community property. Federal law also provides that the Department of Defense cannot pay the non-service member spouse directly unless the parties were married for 10 years or longer, during which time the service member served 10 years of more active duty. The survivor benefit plan election is another very misunderstood element of military retirement, and should be thoroughly discussed and explained by the divorce attorney to the client.
The invocation of rights under the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is very important and prevalent when the country is at war, as it is now. The SCRA is federal law which protects service members from being unfairly treated when they are unable to attend court proceedings due to deployment which prevents them from being granted leave to attend such hearings. Any service member who is deployed overseas should ask that this law be explained thoroughly and completely by his or her divorce lawyer.
J. Michael Clay has the experience, knowledge and skill necessary to successfully represent military service member clients. J. Michael Clay is highly experienced in working out amicable solutions to military divorce issues and other family law proceedings involving military service members, including child custody, child support, enforcement, modification, and adoption issues. The Law Office of J. Michael Clay crafts plans to protect the rights of military service members and/or their spouses. We work with our clients and the Texas courts to assist our clients and find the solutions that are right for them. In the event that amicable solutions are simply not possible, J. Michael Clay also has the knowledge, experience, and aggressiveness necessary to effectively represent military clients in court.
J. Michael Clay represents both in-state and out-of-state clients. In fact, the Law Office of J. Michael Clay currently represents clients located all over the world, including many military service members. If you are a military service member, or if you are married to a military service member, and have an issue involving divorce, child custody, child support, child visitation, or adoption, contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to answering your questions and finding the legal solutions that are right for you.