divorce

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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

Rancho Cucamonga Military Divorce

Do You Know How Your Benefits Will Be Divided?

One of the most contentious parts of any divorce is determining how assets will be divided, and it can become increasingly complicated depending on what needs to be split between you and your soon to be ex-spouse. Military benefits can be especially difficult to factor in because certain laws may come into play and dictate which, if any, benefits can be divided by the court and sent to the civilian spouse. If either you or your spouse served or serves in the United States Armed Forces, it may be in your best interest to hire an experienced attorney to help you best prepare for and handle your divorce case.

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Our Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyers at James D. Madden, Attorney at Law have spent nearly two decades providing clients with the best legal assistance we can offer in order to help them navigate this difficult time in their life. Military benefits can add an extra layer of difficulty to an already complicated process, and hiring a qualified divorce lawyer can secure you the resources you need to answer any question you may have and tackle any complication that stands in your way. Contact us today to discuss your case with a member of our firm.

Benefits for Former Military Spouses

Civilian ex-spouses of someone who served in the military may be eligible to receive certain benefits under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), though the extent of the benefits depends on how long the member of the armed forced served and how long the marriage lasted. The spouse who served in the military must meet the requirements laid out in either the 20/20/20 or 20/20/15 rules in order for the civilian spouse to qualify for full commissary, health care and exchange benefits following their divorce.

Qualifications for the 20/20/20 Rule

  • You and your spouse must have been married for 20 years or more.
  • The spouse who served in the military must have performed 20 years of creditable military service or more, and may either remain an active service member or be retired to qualify.
  • You and your spouse must have been married for at least 20 years while they performed their creditable military service.

As long as all three requirements are met, the civilian spouse may qualify for full commissary, health care and exchange benefits following their divorce.

Qualifications for the 20/20/15 Rule

  • You and your spouse must have been married for 20 years or more.
  • The spouse who served in the military must have performed 20 years of creditable military service or more, and may either remain an active service member or be retired to qualify.
  • You and your spouse must have been married for at least 15 years while they performed their creditable military service.

As long as all three requirements are met, the civilian spouse can retain their military health care for up to one year after the divorce is finalized, but does not qualify for either commissary or exchange benefits.

These rules only outline what benefits the civilian spouse can expect to keep following the divorce – neither addresses what can happen to the service member’s retired pay. The civilian spouse isn’t guaranteed any portion of the pay under USFSPA, however the state may treat it as disposable income during the property division portion of the divorce process. It can also be used to fulfill alimony and / or child support payment obligations.

Give us a call at (909) 344-5704 to speak with a member of our firm today.

Hire a Qualified Attorney To Handle Your Case Today

Divorces can be incredibly emotionally and financially stressful processes, even in the most straightforward of cases. At James D. Madden, Attorney at Law, our Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorneys have dedicated their careers to providing individuals and families with the experienced legal representation they need during this difficult time. If you are looking to hire a knowledgeable and passionate divorce attorney to help you handle your case, call us at (909) 344-5704 to talk to a member of our firm or fill out our online form to request a free case evaluation today.

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