What to do if my wife wants a divorce while I’m deployed but I want to be present?

UPDATED: Jun 21, 2012

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What to do if my wife wants a divorce while I’m deployed but I want to be present?

I am currently deployed in Afghanistan and my wife is talking about divorce; she is threatening to send me papers while I’m over here. I would like to have the chance to make things right or at least be present during the divorce instead of over here with no power at all. I was wondering if that is totally legal and if there is anything that she can do to force me to while I’m over here?

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Family Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Texas has a Servicemembers Civil Relief Act which actually helps with the relief that you are seeking.  If she serves you with papers, then you can file an application for a "stay of of proceedings," based on this act.  Stay means that everything is post-poned for a period of time-- until you can get leave to come back and defend yourself in the divorce action.  To perfect your motion, you'll need to inlcude the following:

(A) A letter or other communication setting forth facts stating the manner in which your current military duty assignment materially affects your abiility to appear and stating a date when you will be available to appear.
(B) A letter or other communication from your commanding officer stating that your current military duty prevents your appearance and that military leave is not authorized for you at the time of the letter.

If possible, try to give the court an idea of when you will be available to return to the states.  It's a bit tedious, but you don't have to worry about the motion until you are actually served with papers.


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