Military Benefits after Divorce

by Norris Law Group on September 25, 2014

Military Benefits after DivorceIf you divorce a member of any branch of the US military, you may be eligible for your former spouse’s military benefits, provided that some conditions are met.

Exchange, Commissary or Medical Benefits

MilitaryOneSource.com writes that any eligibility for exchange, commissary or medical benefits depends on:

  1. the length of your marriage;
  2. the length of time your ex-spouse’s military service; and
  3. the length of time your marriage overlapped with your ex-spouse’s military service.

The 20/20/20 Rule

Your circumstances must meet the stipulations of the “20/20/20 Rule” for you to qualify for full military benefits upon divorce.  If you have not remarried after your divorce, you may be eligible to receive medical, commissary, exchange and even theater benefits under the US military’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation program provided that:

  • You were married to the service member for at least 20 years when the marriage ended (due to divorce, annulment or dissolution).
  • The military spouse served for at least 20 years that made him or her eligible for retirement pay.
  • You were married to the service member for at least 20 years of the service member’s service creditable toward retirement.

The 20/20/15 Rule

If the 20/20/20 Rule does not apply to your situation, you may qualify for military benefits under the “20/20/15 Rule” as an ex-spouse of a service member. Under the 20/20/15 Rule, an ex-spouse may receive only one year of TRICARE medical benefits while “in transition;”  commissary, exchange or installation privileges are not provided. The following must be true In order for the 20/20/15 Rule to apply:

  • the military spouse served for at least 20 years;
  • the marriage lasted a minimum of 20 years; and
  • the military service and the marriage overlapped for at least 15 years.

Military benefits may not be the only benefits to which you may be entitled after divorcing a service member. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, can help you ensure that you receive all the financial benefits to which you are entitled.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County, UT and throughout Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, and are very experienced in the drafting of QDRO’s. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.



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