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Divorce news: New proposal may change how retired pay is divided

As some Texas residents may know, the U.S. Congress is currently in the process of deciding how much former spouses of those in the military would be awarded in the event of divorce. If the legislation passes, a smaller share of the military personnel's monthly retirement pay would be available to the other spouse. Some have called this potential legislation a "radical rewrite" to the law that stipulates how marital assets are divided when a military couple goes through a divorce.

The legislation would require that state courts award monthly payments to the ex-spouses of retired service members based on the individual's own rank and number of years of service at the time the divorce occurs. Currently, the payments are based on the individual's rank and years of service when the individual chooses to retire. Sometimes, this might result in the former spouse receiving less in retirement benefits.

The move to amend the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act is being seen as a way to protect military members. Although the congressperson proposing the change has said that the proposal's response has been very positive, some worry that the states will not have as much latitude to handle individual divorce cases if a federal formula is put in place. Members of both the House as well as the Senate Armed Services Committees are currently in negotiations to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

Divorce can change everything in an individual's life, starting with finances. It is crucial that a person who is contemplating getting a divorce knows what to expect so that they may properly prepare and work toward a stronger future. An attorney with experience in divorce in Texas can help a person prepare for his or her divorce and effectively navigate this often complex process.

Source: militarytimes.com, "'Radical' proposal would change the way retired pay is divided in divorce cases", Karen Jowers, Aug. 1, 2016

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Vernier & Associates, PLLC
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