Things can get complicated in the aftermath of any divorce. For military divorces in particular, the separating spouses may have a lot of questions.
One of the most common areas of concern after a military divorce is the non-military spouse’s benefits. What can you reasonably expect to receive?
Read on to learn more about how divorced military spousal benefits work in California and how a Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyer can help
One of the primary benefits that a divorcing spouse may be entitled to is their former military spouse’s retirement benefits.
Congress passed the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, or USFPA, in 1982. The impact of this ruling was that state courts have jurisdiction to decide how to divide, or if to divide up at all, military retirement benefits between a divorcing couple.
In California, the court can choose to divide up the service member’s military retirement benefits, regardless of the length of the marriage in question.
According to the USFPA, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service will be tapped to pay the former spouse’s retirement benefits if the marriage and the length of the service member’s service overlap for at least ten years.
If the marriage lasted for less than ten years, then the burden of paying that share of the retirement benefits may fall to the service member. This is referred to as the 10/10 rule.
The 10/10 rule in particular highlights the importance of consulting an experienced military divorce attorney, whether you or your former spouse are the service member in question.
Another important benefit that comes up in military divorces is health care. Specifically, when are the non-service member spouses entitled to receive health care benefits similar to their service member ex-spouses?
Military health care benefits are not divisible after a divorce. Instead, the length of the marriage often will determine what type of benefits are available.
The former spouse, if they remain unmarried, is entitled to pay to receive health care from the Continued Health Care Benefits Program. This program can be expensive, however, and could be even more expensive than regular private health care plans.
For former spouses that were married for at least twenty years—with at least twenty years of overlapping service and marriage—Tricare may be available to them. This rule is known as the 20/20/20 rule and offers the most desirable level of health-care coverage for former spouses.
After a military divorce, you need the assistance of a lawyer who can help you fight for retirement, health care, and even spousal support benefits. Whether you or your former spouse is a former service member, a military divorce attorney from The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock can help.
Call 909-466-7661 or fill out the form below to find out more.