Upon divorce, a former military spouse may be eligible to retain some benefits, pay more for others, and loses some entirely. The Military Divorce Guide discusses each of those benefits in detail in separate articles, but for the sake of clarity, this article summarizes all of the possible benefits in one place.
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Note that some states, such as Colorado, offer legal separation as an alternative to a divorce. The Department of Defense generally treats a legally-separated military spouse as married for purposes of entitlement to benefits.
Exception: Do not terminate a spouse when an interlocutory divorce or legal separation occurs. In other words, a legally-separated spouse keeps the ID card, and access to all benefits the same as a married spouse, except that the issues of military retirement and SBP are determined at the time the decree of legal separation is entered. The multiplier has traditionally been 2.
With a value in the hundreds of thousands of dollars at the low end, over a million for senior officers , the military retirement is often the most valuable asset the spouses have accumulated during their marriage. It is a marital asset, subject to division at the time of the divorce or legal separation regardless of the length of the marriage - even if only a year or two!
Note two caveats:. For a complete discussion of issues and formula for dividing a military retirement, see the Military Retirement section of the Military Divorce Guide.
Moreover, as the military retirement benefits end upon the death of the retiree, see the Survivor Benefit Plan article for details on how to ensure continued payments should the member die before the former spouse. With the new Blended Retirement System, the TSP now receives matching funds from the military, and partially replaces some of the value of the traditional military pension described above.
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However, in Colorado the payments do count as income to the veteran for the purposes of calculating alimony and child support. And to the extent there is a VA waiver against the retirement in effect, the VA disability payments may be garnished to pay child or spousal support. Military medical benefits are not a divisible asset - a former spouse who meets the statutory requirements has the right to receive Tricare, regardless of what the court orders at the time of divorce.
And the opposite is also true - if the federal government determines that the former spouse is not entitled to such benefits, nothing a state court orders can change that. Continued Health Care Benefit Program.
follow site And as long as the spouse remains unmarried and was also awarded a share of the military retirement or SBP, the former spouse may remain on CHCBP for life. If there were at least 20 years of marriage and 20 years of service at the time of divorce, but only 15 years of overlap, the former spouse is entitled to 1 year of transitional medical i.
Tricare benefits only. For complete details of the health care benefits available to a former spouse after divorce, see the Military Health Benefits for Divorced Spouses article. Federal law prohibits state courts from dividing the GI Bill as part of a divorce.
Family members may only live in military housing while the couple is married. Upon divorce, a family in housing will have 30 days to depart. See the Military Base Housing in a Divorce article for details.
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