If your husband served in the military and has Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits that are transferable, your Virginia divorce may affect how those funds are handled.

There are many positive aspects of serving in the United States military. The armed forces makes an effort to give back to those who have served our country by making available various benefits that are meant to make life more convenient and help the military member excel in life during and after his or her time of service.

History of the GI Bill

The GI Bill is one of the best known pieces of federal legislation meant to help military members and veterans. The GI Bill was born out of a need to help veterans adjust to civilian life. Following WWI, millions of servicemen faced re-entering civilian life with only a small stipend and a train ticket. During WWII, the government began to brainstorm a solution so that the veterans returning from war could look forward to a brighter and more successful future.

The result was the GI Bill of Rights, which was drafted in 1944. The bill offered veterans financial help with education and housing, and many felt that it would boost the economy by putting men in the workforce who had already proven their dedication and talent on the battlefield.

In 2007, several updates were made to the GI Bill to help veterans who had served in the war on terror since September 11, 2001. The bill helps service people pay for tuition, books and housing as they train for their desired careers. The Post- 9/11 GI Bill allows veterans to transfer all or part of their benefits to their spouse or dependent children in order to further their educations and careers.

Post-9/11 GI Bill and Divorce

The transfer of GI Bill benefits can be a concern when a military couple decides to divorce. The divorce rate in the military is higher than that among civilians, and military divorces are carried out according to both state and federal laws. It's not unusual for spouses to have questions about which of the military spouse's benefits they will continue to receive or use following the end of the marriage.

When it comes to the GI Bill, the transfer of benefits is solely up to the military member for whom it was intended. He can choose to transfer the funds or not, and a court cannot compel his decision one way or the other. If he has already transferred funds, he can revoke them but will need to request to do so; the benefits will not be revoked automatically upon divorce. These funds are not considered marital property in a military divorce.

If you're facing a divorce from a military man, you should consider mediation to help you sort through things like the post-9/11 GI Bill transfer of benefits as well as other financial and family issues. Having an attorney who understands and has experience with military divorce is also a good step toward ensuring that your rights are recognized.

Contacting a Virginia Beach Divorce Attorney

Our Virginia divorce attorneys at Hofheimmer/Ferrebee P.C. care about your rights, the welfare and happiness of your children, and your financial security. Let us use our unique experience to help you focus on your goals for the future and your family. Request a FREE copy of our divorce guide for women in Virginia, or reserve your seat at our monthly divorce seminar. You may also contact us at 757-425-5200.