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What benefits am I entitled to in a military divorce?

| Jun 25, 2021 | Family Law |

If you are divorcing a member of the military, your life may change quite a bit as you will no longer be involved in the military lifestyle. This could mean losing some of the benefits you currently receive.

According to Military OneSource, you will lose some of the benefits you may currently have as a spouse, but you may also retain some under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act. It highly depends on your situation and if you meet the requirements to keep your benefits.

Basic benefits

As a former military spouse, you will be able to keep your health care, exchange and commissary benefits until your divorce is final regardless of any other factors. However, you may lose your housing if your spouse moves out. You must also move within 30 days of him or her leaving.

You can keep health benefits for up to 36 months after the divorce, and your children will keep them until they are 21 or 23 years old. If you are overseas due to your spouse’s orders, the military may pay for your expenses to move back to the U.S.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act

If you meet certain requirements, you will qualify under the 20/20/20 rule to continue your commissary, medical, housing and exchange benefits. To meet the rule requirements, you cannot remarry and your marriage to your spouse must have been for at least 20 years.

At least 15 to 20 years during your marriage must have happened during the retirement creditable service of your spouse. The 15-year requirement is for medical benefits only. Lastly, your spouse must have at least 20 years of service creditable towards retirement.

You should note military service has no impact on any other awards you may get, such as a child or spousal support.