Important Questions for Military Divorces

Posted almost 3 years ago. 2 helpful votes


If you or your spouse have served in the military and you are considering a legal separation or divorce you will need to find an attorney who understands the technicalities of a military divorce and the legal rights of military service members and their spouses. Below are common questions.


What is the name of the federal law that tells how to divide military pensions?

There is no federal statute that states how to divide military retirement benefits. The law that allows pension division in military cases is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (FSPA)


How long must you be married to get military pension division?

There is no length of marriage necessary for division of the military pension. The payments are calculated by the length of time you have been married.


How long must you be married to get medical benefits?

For full medical benefits, you must be married at least 20 years, the other party must have served at least 20 years in the military, and there must be an overlap of at least 20 years between these two.


Am I entitled to a share of my spouse's retired pay?

There is no federal entitlement. FSPA says that it's up to the states to decide whether to divide military pensions or not.


Can the court in my state divide my former spouse's military pension?

The federal rules for jurisdiction over pension division lay out three tests. If any one of them is met, the court will have the power to divide the pension.


Can I save part of my SBP (Survivor Benefit Pension) for my new spouse?

No, it cannot be split between spouses. It is very important to engage a law firm that fully understands the legal rights and terminologies of a military divorce. This is just a sampling of the questions that will come up when considering or filing for divorce as a military service member or military spouse. A divorce is an extremely stressful and emotional situation. When you add to that the complexities of a military divorce, you will want to be sure to have the right law firm in your corner.

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

Military divorce

Divorces involving one or both spouses serving in the military involve unique rules and different complications compared to civilian cases.

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