Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

San Antonio Law Blog

Blended Retirement System will affect military divorce

On Jan. 1, 2018, a new Blended Retirement System will go into effect for military members in Texas and everywhere around the country. The new system will certainly have an impact on retirements. However, other areas will be affected as well, particularly military divorce. Experts predict that divorces among military personnel can become more challenging than before.

A retired Judge Advocate General asserts that the outcome of a military divorce could vary, depending on the location of the case. Also, the new system could greatly impact how pensions will be divided in a divorce. However, active personnel can decide if they want to stay with the current retirement system or switch to the new system if they have less than 12 years of service.

Be sure to consider retirement accounts in a divorce

Dealing with finances is often a complicated issue among married couples in Texas or elsewhere around the country. The issues surrounding money can become even more complex when a couple decides to get a divorce. Couples need to deal with the division of property, which can be an emotional process as well.

Financial advisors recommend that individuals get a thorough understanding of all income and expenses. Another crucial element is to determine what items are separate or community property. This can be particularly difficult when retirement accounts are involved. Accounts such as 401(k) plans, Roth or traditional individual retirement accounts or other plans all have different regulations about withdrawals, taxes and penalties. In addition, the plans may have specific rules about how the distribution can be divided.

Estate planning for a second marriage in Texas

As excited as you are to plan for your second wedding, be aware that it is not the only planning you should be involved in right now. You may be busy, but do not underestimate the importance of creating estate plans before you tie the knot.

Even if you already have plans in place, you need to make sure they are up-to-date. Furthermore, second marriages bring specific matters to the table for you to address. Knowing what they are can ensure you have a solid estate plan.

Military divorce creates complex issues

The life of a spouse of someone who serves in the U.S. military has its good and bad points. You certainly had moments of great pride at your spouse's accomplishments. The joy of reuniting after a deployment may have overshadowed the months of separation and uncertainty. You may have found it exciting to move as your spouse was stationed in new places such as Texas, or perhaps the distance from family and the loneliness of unfamiliar locations wore you down. Whatever your personal situation may be, facing a military divorce is likely stressful and upsetting.

In addition to the burden of dividing your marital assets, you have many factors to consider that civilians don't. For example, your spouse's military retirement is part of the marital property even if your spouse will not be collecting it for a number of years. The laws concerning military retirement are frequently scrutinized by various courts, and you may be unfamiliar with your rights regarding this very important asset.

Is it best to keep or sell a home after a divorce?

When a couple decides to end their marriage in Texas or elsewhere around the nation, they soon begin discussions on how to divide the assets they have gathered while they've been together. These deliberations have the potential to be contentious since the couple may not always see eye to eye on how handle the division of property. Recently, a financial expert was asked for some advice on whether or not to sell a luxury home following a divorce.

A 60-year-old wrote that her husband wanted to end their marriage after 17 years. Together, the couple has property worth over a million dollars. The husband wants to sell it, but the wife doesn't. She has previously managed the property and wants to continue doing so as an income source. She also desires to further develop it for more income potential in the future.

Divorce petition features several important details

The thought of getting divorced can understandably be overwhelming, both financially and emotionally. However, the actual process of filing for divorce can be just as overwhelming. Understanding the contents of a divorce petition is critical when filing one in court in Texas.

The divorce process is initiated with the filing of the divorce petition in court. This document contains information such as the names and address of the married couple as well as their marriage date and location. The spouse filing the petition, known as the petitioner, also must identify the couple's children on this form.

Divorce process involves being team player, detective

Although planning for retirement is relatively common in Texas and other parts of the United States, planning for the dissolution of a marriage is not quite as common. However, the decisions made during divorce can easily affect one's finances long term. A few tips may help with navigating the financial aspect of a marital split-up.

First, becoming a team player can be advantageous during divorce. This means assembling a strong team of advisors who can help with making informed decisions from a professional standpoint. Besides having an attorney on this team, having a personal counselor, financial advisor and account can be helpful.

Understanding the appeal process for asset division in divorce

It is usually the court's intention to provide fair judgments in divorce proceedings. However, both parties do not always agree with the outcome and may choose to appeal a decision by the court.

If you are considering an appeal, it is important that you know what to expect. There are a few things to understand about the appeal process.

Enforcing child support is possible following divorce

According to the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, district attorneys can provide help with the process of collecting child support. Unfortunately, sometimes following divorce in Texas, an ex-spouse might refuse to make the necessary payments according to the court order. In this situation, the district attorney will serve the ex-spouse with papers.

The served papers provide instructions for the ex to meet up with the district attorney to set up a viable payment arrangement. If the ex decides not to follow these instructions, he or she may face jail time. However, because a person who is in jail cannot earn money, placing an ex behind bars is typically a final resort.

How a living will works in Texas

Technically, a living will is not an actual will. Rather, it is a legally binding directive that conveys your wishes concerning medical treatment. If you ever become unable to state your preferences on your own, a living will and other types of advance directives can serve to tell health-care providers and family members what you want.

While no one likes to contemplate the possibility of becoming incapacitated or having to make end-of-life decisions, deliberating these issues in advance can help you define your thoughts and intentions on these important matters.


At Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC, we have received a variety of honors and awards for our family law services. Members of our team have been listed as Top Lawyers in San Antonio Scene magazine. We take pride in the number of positive reviews we have received from satisfied clients. On AVVO, a lawyer rating website, we have received an 8.9 rating overall and many positive ratings from clients and colleagues.

  1. Top 10 Attorneys | American Jurist Institute | 2017
  2. Avvo Rating | 8.9 | Excellent
  3. Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2015 | Jamie Lynn Heggy Graham
  4. Reviews | Out of 12 reviews | Jamie Lynn Heggy Graham | Avvo
  5. BBB | A+ Rating
  6. San Antonio | Best S.A. | Lawyers | 2015

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Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC
310 South St. Mary's Street
Suite 2500
San Antonio, TX 78205

Phone: 210-272-7034
Fax: 210-308-5669