Continued Military Benefits

Many issues come about when a service member and his or her spouse make the decision to dissolve their marriage. One of the primary concerns both parties have in a divorce pertains to the benefits that they are eligible for even after the divorce.

The military spouse can be specifically concerned with this situation and anxious to understand what benefits carry over after divorce. At Charles E. Willmott, P.A., it is my goal to help clients gain a better understanding of what benefits continue after divorce and which do not.

Common Issues

If you are a member of the military, you probably have many questions concerning the benefits that will continue after divorce. There are a few common issues that my firm can help military members fully understand.

  • Issues that the military member may be concerned with include:
  • What to do if served with divorce papers while deployed
  • What the Ten-Year Rule means and how to protect retirement benefits
  • How divorce affects the home and Veterans Affairs (VA) exemptions
  • How concurrent pay and VA disability will affect retirement benefits
  • Proper calculations of support based on BAH, BAS, and special pays

Spouses of military members typically have other areas of concern. They are more focused on what benefits they will still have after divorce, even though the marriage is being dissolved.

  • Common concerns that a military member's spouse may have when contemplating divorce include:
  • Whether or not he / she will keep health insurance and other benefits
  • What the retirement rights are after divorce, including survivor benefit plans
  • How VA disability will affect the individual's share
  • What is still available after divorce under the 20 / 20 / 20 rule.
  • What is required to protect the survivor benefit package after the divorce
  • How to ensure that children will be protected with SGLI and Tricare benefits

Former Spouse Protection

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) does not automatically provide a former spouse with the military member's retirement pay. The law does, however, permit the state to view military disposable retirement pay as marital property.

Therefore, the disposable military retirement pay can be divided during the divorce proceeding. During a military divorce, retired pay can be divided for property settlement purposes or be garnished for child support or alimony payments.

Under the USFSPA, a former spouse can receive survivor benefit plan benefits. This allows retired service members to provide monetary assistance to the beneficiary after death. If the beneficiary is a former spouse, the court or military member can choose to allow continued benefits for this individual.

Former spouses are also allowed to receive commissary and healthcare benefits after a divorce under certain conditions. If the marriage lasted for 20 years and the military member served for 20 years, the spouse may be entitled to full benefits.

If you are interested in finding out more information, contact my firm today!

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