Do I have to reimburse my ex for her community share of the military retirement pay that she did not get while I received it?

Asked over 1 year ago - Santa Rosa, CA

I got divorced and my wife received 1/2 of my military pension. she submitted her application to DFAS but had to amend it a couple of times for wording before she was able to receive her payments. Now she wants me to pay her what she missed out on? Is there any law out there that I am responsible for this. I did not do anything to delay her payments? Thanks you.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Stephen P. Kelly

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . You need to pay her. Typically it takes DFAS several months to process state court orders. In the meantime, the member is responsible for paying whatever the court awarded. There's no penalty for getting the DFAS paperwork wrong. Your state court order governs the property settlement, including your military retirement pay. The only thing Federal law does is provide a mechanism for divisions of military retirement to be paid directly to a former spouse. Whether DFAS pays or not does not alleviate your responsibility under the state court order. She is entitled to whatever share ordered by the court from and after the effective date of the order. If you don't feel this is fair, you can go back to the state court with jurisdiction to request a modification. However, property division in most states is not modifiable absent proof of fraud or misrepresentation.

    Law Office of Stephen P. Kelly (508) 983-1479--Criminal Defense, Military Law, Divorce & Family Law, Appeals.... more
  2. Rixon Charles Rafter III

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. You must comply with the court order without regard for what DFAS does or doesn't do. DFAS and the court are unrelated entities.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of... more
  3. John Daniel Hafemann

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with the advice of my colleagues. You must comply with the court order. Best of luck.

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Divorce and retirement accounts

If one spouse in a divorce has a retirement plan, it may be split between the parties. How the plan is split depends on its type and value.

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