• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • What are the military benefits for former spouses?
unnamed file

What are the military benefits for former spouses?

Divorce is a complicated matter, without adding in other factors. However, if your spouse is or was in the Military, it might bring along other situations that must be taken into account.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act

According to Military one source, it is dictated by the act that:

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act is a federal law that provides certain benefits to former spouses of military members. An un-remarried former spouse may receive medical, commissary, exchange and theater privileges under the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program if he or she meets the requirements of what is known as the 20/20/20 rule.

unnamed file

The 20/20/20 Rule

The primary rule is called the 20/20/20 rule.  It has this name because it applies to former spouses who meet these criteria:

  • the two parties were married for 20 years,
  • the military member served for 20 years, and
  • the marriage and the military service overlapped by 20 years.

The 20/20/15 Rule

The 20/20/15 rule offers only Tricare medical coverage, and for a limited period of time.  Eligibility for 20/20/15 benefits require that:

  • the two parties were married for 20 years,
  • the military member served for 20 years, and
  • the marriage and the military service overlapped by 15 years.

unnamed file

What are the effects of divorce on military benefits?

Military one source lists the following:

  • Installation housing — The former spouse will typically lose installation family housing within 30 days of the service member or other family members moving out due to a divorce.
  • Moving costs — The military may pay the moving expenses of the non-military spouse returning home from an overseas duty station. The divorcing parties could negotiate the cost of an in-state move as part of the settlement.
  • Health care benefits — When you lose TRICARE benefits because of divorce, you can buy up to 36 months of temporary health care coverage through the Department of Defense Continued Health Care Benefit program. To check eligibility and other information, visit the TRICARE website.
    • Biological and adopted children of the service member may receive TRICARE benefits up to age 21 (or age 23 if enrolled in college).
  • Spousal and child support — Each military service has policies requiring service members to support family members upon separation in the absence of an agreement or court order. These policies are designed to be temporary. A commander’s authority is limited without a court order. You must send the court order to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service directing the government to pay monies for support or alimony.

If you are still hesitant about benefits or processes, the best way to proceed is to find a lawyer with ample experience in Military divorce. If you are looking for one in the state of Alabama, don’t hesitate on giving us a call for a consultation.

schedule a Consultation

Charlotte Christian did an outstanding job handling my complicated divorce. I could not of asked for a better outcome. Knowledgable and professional attorney providing exceptional service.