Special Divorce Benefits for Military Spouses

When military spouses divorce, there are special rules related to health care benefits, retirement benefits, and child support payments that can impact the divorce. If one or both spouses are members of the U.S. Army, Navy or Air Force, it’s best to talk to an alimony attorney Pasco County about allowed divorce benefits under special military regulations.

Health Care Benefits

For most civilian couples, a spouse is no longer eligible for health care benefits under their former spouse’s health coverage plan after divorce. However, special regulations provide benefits to divorced military spouses:

* 20/20/15 Spouses – If a couple is married for 20 years or more; the service member has at least 20 years of military service; and military service is combined with 15 years of marriage, a divorced spouse qualifies for medical benefits for one full year after divorce.

* 20/20/20 Spouses – If a couple is married for 20 years or more; the service member has at least 20 years of military service; and military service is combined with 20 years of marriage, a divorced spouse qualifies for medical benefits, as well as commissary and exchange privileges.

Retirement Benefits

When military spouses divorce, special rules apply to military retirement pay. State courts are allowed to allocate retirement pay benefits of military service members as part of marital property, as long as the following conditions apply:

* The retirement benefit is stated within the final divorce decree and defined either as a percentage of disposable retirement income or a fixed dollar amount.

* The 10/10 rule applies: The spouses are married for at least 10 years or more, and the service member has performed at least 10 years or more of military service that warrants retirement pay during the marriage.

Child Support Payments

In all military divorces, parents are required by law to pay determined child support, but support guidelines may vary based on the specific branch of military service. All military services will honor and enforce state court child support orders through wage garnishment, if child support payments are not made voluntarily on a timely regular basis.

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