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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 99479
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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HELP! Mediated agreement states Community share of military

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HELP! Mediated agreement states: "Community share of military retirement pension 50% to each, ie approximately 17.5 years out of total of approximately 26 years of service." Divorce decree awarded: "50% of all sums, whether matured or unmatured, accrued or unaccrued, vested or otherwise, together with all increases thereof, the proceeds therefrom, and any other rights related to or as a result of XXXXX XXXXX, Jr.'s service in the United States Military, including any accrued unpaid bonuses, disability plan or benefits, Thrift Savings Plan, or other benefits existing by reason of or as a result of XXXXX XXXXX, Jr.'s employment, and as signed by the Court. Four months after the divorce decree is signed, a Domestic Relations Order is developed that reduces the 50% to 34% by applying a factor for time that marriage overlapped military service. Is this something I should have known? is this something my lawyers should have mentioned prior to DRO filing?

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This is highly unusual. Was this DRO filing approved by the Judge?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
That status is unknown and I really don't understand the process very well. I am $17,000 in debt to my lawyer on a total that is near $70,000. I do know that the two lawyers have agreed to this DRO.
I am sorry. Best I can say is this - this reduction is NOT typical in TX law. Either the other attorney slipped it in w/o yours noticing, or maybe your attorney just agreed to this w/o your consent. If the Judge has not yet signed it, it's not part of the divorce and can be amended. If he did, it is, and then you need to file something called a Motion for Clarification. Such a motion is filed post-judgment by a party when the orders are either (1) unclear, or (2) do no provide the rules for an unforeseen situation. Such is the case here. Once you file the motion, and have a quick hearing, the Judge will issue an order that will act as a supplement to the original, and will clarify the situation as to the right and duties of all parties in regards XXXXX XXXXX matter at hand (hence the name of the motion). The Motion is a non-punishment motion, i.e. no one gets into trouble for filing it or having it filed upon them, although often parties also resolve other minor disputes at the same time along with the clarification on the main matter – often, Judges issue an order not only on the clarification, but also add some minor details on miscellaneous stuff. So if you have any minor issues, try vocalize them at the hearing – it’s a good way to get it all straightened out.

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