There's a wise old saying that goes something like this: A doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient. Texans could soon have the opportunity to test that theory out in court. From now until February 8, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court is accepting public comment on do-it-yourself divorce forms. The idea is that people who can't afford the usual route - hire an attorney who knows the process and can do it right the first time - will be able to get unhitched on the cheap.
Too many newly-divorced service members trying to reassemble their lives are leaving Uncle Sam's gifts on the table. Take the Air Force, for example. Too many airmen wait too long to secure benefits for their dependents, including dependents who were born out of wedlock or are children of divorce. Dependent children are entitled to benefits even if they live with a non-military parent, and in some cases the former spouse is also eligible for military benefits.
For nearly 65,000 women every year, the end of their marriage means the end of their health insurance coverage. And it may take as long as two years before they can get replacement insurance, if they can manage it at all. Loss of coverage is one aspect of divorce that may get lost in the scramble for child custody and equitable distribution of assets.
One of the most valuable benefits for armed forces veterans is the retirement pay, and it could be the most important marital asset. It's vital that divorcing military couples take into account the nature of the benefits and the way courts approach them. It's not the same in every state.