Serviceman and women’s guide to divorce: Texas

“Texas attorney Matt Sossi goes over the applications of the UCCJEA and UIFSA that typically affect servicemen and woman when they file for divorce in the State of Texas.”

Servicemen quickly must understand the basics of the UCCJEA and the UIFSA to determine issues relating to custody, possession and access and child support.

#1.  Meeting the Jurisdictional Prerequisites to get a Divorce.

Servicemen and women must meet jurisdictional requirements of that State to file a divorce. Meeting the jurisdictional prerequisites to file for divorce does not guarantee that the court granting the divorce will also hear issues concerning custody, visitation or child support.  For example, if your child did not live in the State you are filing it for the past six months you most likely will only be able to get a divorce and not be able to obtain relief on any custody issues you may have.

#2.  Why are there different jurisdictional prerequisites for custody vs. child support?

A Texas court can only exercise jurisdiction (in the absence of an emergency)  over a child when there is a finding that it is the home state of the child.  Once the child’s home state is found that state has jurisdiction over custody and possession and access issues.

Jurisdiction over custody is granted pursuant to the UCCJEA.  A different statute, the UIFSA is used to determine jurisdiction over child support issues.

Child support requires personal jurisdiction to render orders for income withholding, etc. Personal jurisdiction over a serviceman or woman is obviously different than establishing a child’s home state based upon the number of months a child has lived in a given location.

#3.  Servicemen are presented with a multitude of scenarios that require them to answer the following questions when hiring an attorney:

Can I obtain a divorce in my home of residence?

Should I simply file for divorce in my spouse’s place of residence?

Which state should I pay child support?

#4.  Servicemen and woman must receive guidance on how child support obligation is calculated.  Child support may be calculated very differently between states across the U.S..  Texas, for example, has a statutory percentage that is presumed in all child support that is assessed.  Likewise, Maryland, Missouri or Minnesota calculate child support by reviewing each parents relative income.  Servicemen and women must understand how calculating child support is calculated based on state to state.  A serviceman or woman might be better off consenting to child support in a state that favors the lowest obligation possible.


Matt Sossi is a family law attorney practicing in San Antonio, Texas.  For more information visit his website at or send him an email at



How do you factor Social Security Retirement when dividing the marital estate?


[Advertisement:  Law Office of Matt Sossi – State of Texas ONLY]

Social Security benefits are not something that is considered community property and can not be subject to division upon divorce.   So why mention Social Security benefits during your divorce?

Many clients receive their a pension from a school or government municipality that does ALSO allow them the right to seek social security.  Upon divorce many family lawyers simply agree to have their clients’ retirements divided WITHOUT reviewing the social security benefits that the other spouse receives.

A Just and Fair division does not always mean a 50-50 division of marital assets.  Make sure to request that the mediator or consider your spouse’s social security retirement award when dividing the marital estate.

At the Law Office of Matt Sossi we calculate your annuity retirements over your projected life time and then compare them with the social security benefits your spouse is projected to receive.  Comparing the two retirement plans gives you the best option of walking out of your divorce with the fairest and most equitable award for your divorce.

Divorce does not have to impact you long term provided that you have the right representation.



Kids First Parents Second – London Project


Kids First Parents Second is looking to create a Kids First Parents Second magazine for the U.K. in 2016.


1.    The basic message of Kids First Parents Second is given greater weight by parents when local experts express their views and opinions on ways to minimize conflict during the divorce process.

2.    The magazine helps promote our “Kids First Day”  an event our nonprofit is  developing for parents and kids in the U.S. and in the U.K..

3.   In Kids First Parents Second’s short existence, the professional community in the U.K. has seen eye to eye on our vision to create resources for the entire divorcing family.

We want to see this magazine in print and disbursed throughout London (For starters).  To accomplish our mission, we are going to need advertisers and sponsors to achieve this goal.

Matt Sossi

Executive Director Kids First Parents Second