When your marriage to a Washington servicemember ends and you are not a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may wonder whether you may still take advantage of benefits reserved for military families once your divorce finalizes. To still be able to use the military commissary, TRICARE health insurance coverage and other perks intended for military members and their families, your situation must meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the 20/20/20 rule.
Per Military.com, unless you meet the strict 20/20/20 rule eligibility criteria, your access to military benefits ends at the same time your marriage to a service member does.
Meeting the terms of the 20/20/20 rule
To still qualify for military benefits after your divorce from a military service member, three things must hold true. The first is that your marriage lasted at least 20 years. The second is that your former spouse served at least 20 years in his or her military capacity. The third is that your former spouse’s service term and the marriage you shared must have overlapped by at least 20 years.
Failing to meet the terms of the 20/20/20 rule
If your spouse’s service term was at least 20 years and your marriage was, too, you may be able to get one more year of access to TRICARE health insurance coverage. To be able to do so, your marriage and your ex’s service term must have overlapped by at least 15 years.
Keep in mind that if you are able to retain access to military benefits after your split from a service member, your eligibility period ends if you remarry.