4 FAQs For Former Spouses Of Military Members

While divorces can be challenging for all parties involved, they can be especially difficult for former spouses of military members.

You may be unsure of what to do, how to protect your family, and how to move on with the next chapter of our life.

Here are some of the most common questions former spouses of military members have about divorce:

1. How long did you have to be married to receive medical benefits?

To receive full medical benefits, the marriage had to be for at least 20 years while overlapping with 20 years of military service.

This is referred to as “20-20-20” coverage. It is important to keep this timetable in mind when deciding when to file for divorce because filing too early can affect your benefits.

2. When it comes to military retirement pay, am I entitled to a share?

There is no federal entitlement and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (FSPA) says that the state can determine if military pensions can be divided or not.

3. Can state courts divide military pensions?

Federal rules for the jurisdiction of pension division can be determined using three tests.

If any of these three tests are met, the state court will have the power to divide the military pension.

- The first test is if the other party lived in the state where the court is located.

- The second test is if the other party consent to the court’s jurisdiction for hearing the military pension case.

- The third test is if the other party lives in the state where the courts are located, but not because of a military assignment.

4. What is needed for courts to order a garnishment of the military pension?

If the marriage lasted for a minimum of 10 years, and those 10 years were also during a time of active military service and can be proven in the court order or legal papers, then a garnishment of the retirement pay will be allowed.

Consult With A Skilled Military Divorce Lawyer

These are just some of the most common questions our law firm receives about military divorces, but there are many more questions that you may have.

If you are filing for divorce from a military service member and are unsure of what your legal options are, I can properly guide you through the process while working diligently to get you the best possible outcome.

Contact our law firm at (803) 386-7117 to learn more.

Stephen Foster