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How can you divide a military pension during divorce?

| Jul 6, 2021 | Divorce |

Divorcing as a military couple may seem more complex than most divorces. If you have a pension, do you have to divide it with your spouse?

According to Military Advantage, you may have to divide your pension.

Can you divide a pension?

According to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act, state courts can treat the retired pay as your sole property or property of you and your spouse. When it comes to the division of pension, you can divide it, but there are many ways to do so. Even if your marriage lasts less than one year, your spouse may still have entitlements to your pension. This occurs through the state court.

However, your spouse may receive a part of your pension through the Department of Defense if you remained married for at least 10 years and 10 years of military service in between.

How do you share benefits?

If you and your former spouse remained married for at least 20 years and if you had 20 years of service with an overlap of 20 years, then your ex will have the benefits and privileges that he or she became accustomed to. These benefits include:

  • Medical care
  • Commissary access
  • Military exchange access

If you have less than a 20-year overlap but at least 15, then your ex will receive one year of medical benefits. He or she can use this year to find alternative healthcare and to transition to civilian healthcare. If he or she receives healthcare from an employer, then military medical benefits become suspended. If your spouse remarries, he or she loses all benefits immediately.

Your military retired pay is an asset that you have to consider when filing for divorce or separation.