A final and unambiguous Texas divorce decree that disposes of all of the marital property generally may not be relitigated. The Texas Family Code allows the trial court to keep continuing subject matter jurisdiction to clarify and enforce the property division, but it cannot change or modify it. In a recent case, a wife challenged an order purporting to clarify the division of the husband’s military retirement nearly 25 years after the divorce.
The parties divorced in 1996. In the decree, the trial court found they were married for at least 18 years and 11 months and the husband had served at least 13 years and 9 months “of creditable service toward retirement.”
Trial Court Awards Wife 50% of Husband’s Military Retirement
The trial court awarded the wife “[a]ll right, title, and interest in and to fifty (50) percent of [the husband’s military] disposable retired or retainer pay” and 50% of all increases in the disposable retirement or retainer pay. The husband served for several more years.