Editor PicksWhat Is A Military Spouse Entitled To After Divorce

What Is A Military Spouse Entitled To After Divorce

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Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Am I entitled to my ex spouse’s retirement plans or pension after a divorce

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act applies to military service members and may affect divorce proceedings. Protections include:

  • A stay or postponement of a civil court or administrative proceeding if the service member proves he or she is unable to attend because of duty
  • Certain protections on default judgments for failure to respond to a lawsuit or failure to appear at trial

What Are Military Pensions

A military pension is a retirement benefit provided to military service members. Like other kinds of retirement pay, military pensions are a form of deferred compensation. However, unlike most civilian pensions that allow employees to borrow from their retirement plans or cash out early, military pensions are an all-or-nothing benefit. Service members can’t receive payment of any pension benefit until they’ve served for at least 20 years, or if serving in the Reserves or National Guard, have acquired the necessary “points.” Once service members complete their terms, or acquire enough points, they’re entitled to their full pension.

How Too Much Trust Can Leave Your Marriage Open To Entitlement

It may sound strange to make the statement that a marriage could have too much trust. After all, most of us work very hard to be able to give that essential benefit of the doubt to our spouse. We assume that we are supposed work towards trust, not away from it. And for the most part this is true.

However, just as we do find a correlation between over-relaxed parenting and entitled children, there is also a connection between over-relaxed spouses and their partners with entitlement issues. But before we address this connection, lets first make it very clear that accountability for marriage entitlement issues rests squarely with the entitled spouse, not the put-upon partner.

If we are old enough to be in a marriage, we should be mature enough to take responsibility for our behavior. There is truly nothing in this unfortunate situation that the put-upon spouse can be blamed for. There is, however, an interesting observation that can be made between what we might call overly-trusting spouses and the presence of entitlement issues in a marriage.

So what exactly do we mean by an overly-trusting spouse? What we will find when we take a big-picture look at individuals from all different types of backgrounds is that peoples world view on how trustworthy others are can vary tremendously from person to person.

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What Is A Military Wife Entitled To In A Divorce

After divorce, the former spouse is entitled to the Continued Health Care Benefit Program , which is the Tricare version of COBRA for three years. And as long as the spouse remains unmarried and was also awarded a share of the military retirement or SBP, the former spouse may remain on CHCBP for life.

How We Can Help

What Are Military Spouses Entitled to in a Divorce?

If you are considering going through the divorce procedure by yourself, without a lawyer, you will need a package of required documents. The forms that you can get from OnlineDivorce.com are updated continuously and comply with state standards. Having ready-made documents on hand, you can complete your case in the shortest possible time and with minimum effort.

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What Financial Responsibility Does Your Military Spouse Have During A Separation

As a general rule, the military likes to stay out of domestic issues as much as possible and leave the decisions on division of property, child support, and the like to state civilian courts. However, despite this general hands off policy, the military frowns on its members conducting themselves in an irresponsible way that reflects poorly on the military branch to which the member belongs. The military also recognizes that there is a period of time before a divorce is final where a couple is typically separated and living apart and the opportunity to act irresponsibly is abundant.

So the military has decided that their members must not dodge financial obligations to their family while separated. To enforce this, each branch of the military has enacted its own rules that dictate how much a service member must pay their estranged spouse during separation, in the absence of a court order or agreement.

Entitlement Issues Regarding Physical/emotional Needs:

Entitlement to love in a marriage.Entitlement to happiness in a marriage.Entitlement to relationships with our extended family within a marriage.Entitlement to emotional support within a marriage.Entitlement to physical safety within a marriage.Entitlement to emotional safety within a marriage.Entitlement to discussion around issues that affect our marriage.Entitlement to sex in a marriage.

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We Have Separated But Were Claiming Cea Can We Still Claim It

If you decide to separate and the non-serving spouse has primary care responsibility for the child, the Service person will no longer be eligible to claim CEA. Once the Service person has changed their Personal Status Category , they will only be able to claim CEA for one further academic term following that in which the change of status takes place.

If the child have started the two academic years leading to public exams , they will be entitled to receive CEA until the end of that stage of education.

If the Service person becomes the primary carer for the child , they will need to submit an application for a new eligibility certificate and evidence needs to be provided that they are the childs primary carer to retain CEA.

In this section

Can I Join The Military With Joint Custody

What Benefits are Available to a Military Spouse After Divorce?

In general, an applicant who has joint physical custody of a child by court order or agreement, and the applicant does not have a spouse, he/she is considered a single parent. If a local or state court allows modification, if the other parent assumes full custody, the applicant is usually qualified for enlistment.

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Rights And Benefits Of A Military Spouse In A Divorce

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act specifically protects a former military spouse’s rights after divorce. It determines the portion of a service member retirement pay that the other spouse will receive. Any military family must live in marriage for at least ten years to divide the retirement pay. Military spouse entitlements also include healthcare benefits.

There are several types of benefits that a spouse of a service member is eligible for. They consider the number of years spent together as a married couple and how many of them overlapped with the active service. Under the 20/20/20 rule , a non-military spouse is entitled to TRICARE medical treatment, health insurance, and other benefits.

If a 20-year marriage has an overlap of 15 years with the active service, a former spouse will only receive one-year of TRICARE medical coverage and access to military pharmacies. The two mentioned rules apply if a spouse remains unmarried and has no other insurance plan. For those who do not meet the 20/20/20 or 20/20/15 rules, there is CHCBP – Continued Health Care Benefit Program.

How Would Someone Know If Their Ex

You can send a letter to the Office of Personnel Management. For identification and verification purposes, you should list the Social Security number of the Service Member and Spouse/Former Spouse, the date of birth of both the military spouse and former spouse and essentially say, I need statements from the TSP account for this military member for purposes of my divorce. Heres my divorce case number.

The Office of Personnel Management will reply back and send a letter back with those statements that youre requesting, or they will response back that no account exists.

Note: A subpoena is not required and in fact, if you send a subpoena, the Office of Personnel Management wont reply back with the records. Theyll reply back with a letter that essentially states: We do not respond to subpoenas because we are Federal Agency and do not have to respond to State Court Subpoenas.

Here is some suggested language:

SENT VIA FACSIMILE 703/592-0151 AND US MAIL

TSP Legal Processing Unit

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What Is The 10/10 Rule

When dividing a military pension in a divorce, many people wrongfully believe that a non-military spouse can only receive retired pay if they were married to you for 10 years, with at least 10 years of service during that time. The 10/10 rule does not determine how much a former spouse may receive. Instead, it determines the source of that payment.

Specifically, if you were married for at least 10 years, and 10 years of that marriage were spent in creditable military service, then your ex will be paid directly through Defense Finance and Accounting Service . DFAS will start to make these payments after receiving a court order. Otherwise, you will pay your ex directly.

Can My Wife Get My Military Retirement If We Divorce

Checklist Of Military Spouse Benefits After Divorce

There is no set amount of time that you must be married for your spouse to potentially be able to access your military pension in a divorce. The amount of your pension that your ex may be entitled to is up for negotiation, just like any other asset that is considered community or marital property under California law.

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Is My Ex Wife Entitled To Half My Army Pension

There is a common misconception that an ex-spouse will be automatically entitled to half of your pension. This is not necessarily the case. However, if you were with your spouse for most of your military career then, if a pension sharing order was given, they may be entitled to a share of your pension.

How Long Does A Military Spouse Receive Pay After Divorce

If your former spouse is entitled to a portion of your military retirement pay, then they will continue to receive this payment until one of you passes away. If you die before your ex, then their benefits will stop. However, remarriage does not affect their right to a portion of your military pension if it was awarded in a divorce.

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Health Benefits 20/20/20 Rule

Under the 20/20/20 rule, former spouses are eligible to continue their medical coverage under TRICARE if they following are true:

  • Been married at least 20 years
  • The Military member has at least 20 years of service
  • The marriage and the military service overlapped at least 20 years
  • The former spouse has not remarried
  • The former spouse did not enroll in an employee sponsored health plan

And How Does A Hypothetical Order Work

Benefits Military Spouses Receive After Divorce

The hypothetical order is not based on a percentage or a dollar amount of the current pay. It is made-up pay. For example, you could say 50 percent of a military members pay who has served 25 years with a pay scale of $4,000 dollars a month. Even if the number of years doesnt match what the military member served or the pay scale, the military will use these made up numbers and apply them to the case.

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What Happens To Military Spouse Benefits In Divorce

A former military spouses right to continue to have a military dependent ID card depends on the length of the marriage, the length of the military members creditable service, and the overlap between the two. In short, an ex-spouse is entitled to full health care, commissary, and exchange benefits if they meet the 20/20/20 rule:

  • The service member had at least 20 years of creditable service.
  • The spouses were married for at least 20 years.
  • The marriage and the creditable service overlapped for at least 20 years.

An ex-military spouse who does not meet the 20/20/20 rule retains commissary and exchange privileges while the divorce is pending but loses them when the divorce becomes final.

An ex-military spouse who does not meet the 20/20/20 rule retains commissary and exchange privileges while the divorce is pending but loses them when the divorce becomes final.

Under limited circumstances, some spouses may be able to retain medical benefits for a year following the date of divorce. These so-called transitional medical benefits are available if the spouse meets the 20/20/15 rule 20 or more years of creditable service, 20 or more years of marriage, with 15 years of overlap between them. Transitional benefits may also be available to a spouse who is divorced from an ex-service member whose eligibility for retired pay was terminated due to domestic abuse.

Does My Ex Wife Get Half My Military Retirement

Military Retirement Pay and Divorce

In order for the military to provide direct retirement payments to an ex-spouse, the couple must have been married 10 years overlapping with 10 years of service. The maximum amount of pension income an ex-spouse can receive is 50% of the military retirement pay.

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Considering A Divorce We Can Help

Getting divorced can be traumatic and expensive. If you are a member of the military, protecting the assets that you accumulated throughout your service, such as your pension, may be a top priority. The Law Office of Renkin & Associates can help.

As certified family law specialists, we understand how California law applies to a range of divorce cases including those involving members of the military. We work hard to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with an officer divorce lawyer, call our law firm at or fill out our online contact form.

Military Retirement After Divorce

What Are Military Spouses Entitled to in a Divorce?

The military offers its members a defined benefit pension, under which a member who serves at least 20 years will receive at retirement a monthly payment based upon the members years of service, basic pay, and a retirement multiplier.

The multiplier has traditionally been 2.5% x years of service , and that is still true for legacy retirement plans. However, for new members, as well as existing members who selected the blended retirement, the multiplier is now 2% x years of service, as there is also an enhanced Thrift Savings Plan available.

With a value in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the military retirement is often the most valuable asset the spouses have accumulated during their marriage. It is a marital asset, subject to division at the time of the divorce or legal separation regardless of the length of the marriage – even if only a year or two! Note two caveats:

  • The payments will not commence until the service member actually retires from the military and receives retirement.
  • If the spouses have at least 10 years of marriage overlapping the military service, DFAS will pay the former spouses share directly to the former spouse. The retirement is still an asset that can be divided with fewer than 10 years of overlap, but in such cases the retiree will be required to send payment each month.
  • For a complete discussion of issues and formula for dividing a military retirement, see the Military Retirement section of the Military Divorce Guide.

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    Is The Former Spouse Entitled To A Portion Of The Military Spouse’s Pension

    Yes. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act permits state courts to apply the family law principles of their particular state when deciding how to divide military pensions in divorce. the full text of the USFSPA. Under the USFSPA, state divorce courts can award a military pension to the service member or divide it between the spouses. If the pension is awarded entirely to the service member, courts may compensate the spouse for his or her share of the military pension from other marital assets.

    How Shared Resources Can Lead To Temptation

    The reason a marriage can be one of the most tempting setups for over-entitled behavior is because when we marry we are basically agreeing to put both of our individual resources into a communal pot on the table. But unlike a game of poker, the resources we are asked to combine with our spouse are not just financial.

    Along with our money we are also expected to share almost every aspect of our life with our partner over an extraordinarily long span of time. Lets take a quick look at the kinds of currency, both emotional and financial, that we each bring to the table.

    Along with an agreement to give our spouse an equal share in all of our earnings, we must offer our spouse companionship for the lifetime of the marriage. We must also offer them emotional support with an agreement to treat their needs as importantly as we treat our own. We must also agree to listen to their problems and try to make them feel better. We also must offer them affection and sex, two very important human needs.

    We might even say that we are in a position to make our spouses dreams come true. After all, the person we decide to marry is someone who we think of as our ideal mate or at least the person we want to spend our lifetime with. They may have waited many years for us to come along.

    Lets now take a look at what happens when an ordinarily responsible spouse marries someone with an over-relaxed attitude about how much their spouse takes and how little they give.

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    Benefits For Those Married Less Than 10 Years

    When the divorce is finalized, a nonmilitary spouse retains no military benefits if the marriage lasted less than 10 years. It can be a real financial jolt to you to be forced to give up your military ID and the benefits that come with it. You lose your commissary or exchange rights, your health care benefits, your rights to housing and other military family services. One asset that may be available to you is an award of the service members retirement pay.

    Federal law leaves it to the states to consider whether retirement pay is property that can be distributed. States are not required to award this to a nonmilitary member spouses, but if they do, the law of the state is controlling. State courts can decide to award a portion of the retirement pay to the nonmember spouse even if the military member has not yet retired.

    If you were married less than 10 years, you have the right to enroll in the Continued Health Care Benefit Program through the Department of Defense. This coverage is almost identical to TRICARE Select. It covers preexisting conditions, including pregnancy. You are eligible to retain this coverage for 36 months after you lose your eligibility for military medical care. The coverage must be purchased quarterly.

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