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How is pension divided in a military divorce?

| Aug 24, 2020 | Military Divorce

There are many members of the military in Texas and their service is greatly appreciated by civilians. The sacrifices these families make can be tremendous and many of these service members receive a military pension. When a military family determines they are no longer able to stay married and a divorce is imminent, how the military pension is handled can be a big question.

How a couple’s assets are distributed during a divorce settlement is often one of the more complicated issues that needs to be worked out. A military pension is often one of the couple’s greatest assets. A military pension is money that is paid out after a person has served at least 20 years in the military. A military pension is treated as marital property and a spouse is eligible to receive part of the pension under certain circumstances.

A state court can divide a military pension any way it wants. Although some may think a spouse will not receive a portion of the pension unless they have been married ten years, the court can award some of the pension regardless of the time of marriage. Although in order for the Department of Defense to make direct payments to a former spouse the following must apply:

  • The marriage must have lasted for at least ten years
  • The service member was on active duty for at least ten years with ten years overlapping in marriage.

A former spouse may also be eligible for other military benefits including:

  • Medical benefits
  • Commissary benefits
  • Military exchanges

The spouse will receive these benefits if the military member was in the service for 20 years and the couple were married for 20 years overlapping the 20 years of credible service.

A legal professional who is skilled in military divorces can help their client understand their legal rights. They can make sure their client’s rights are protected both now and into the future and can offer their opinion as to what their client should pursue in the divorce settlement.