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Why and How does my soon to be ex-spouse get a portion of my military retirement?

The Former Spouses Protection Act provides that the ex-spouse of a service member is entitled to a portion of the military spouse’s retirement when he actually receives it. The portion the former spouse is entitled to is based on three primary factors.

Three Factors that Determine How Much Military Retirement a Spouse Will Get

  1. The first factor is how many years the parties are married and together.
  2. The second factor is how many years the military spouse stays in the military.
  3. The third factor is the rank of the military spouse at retirement.

Can a Spouse Waive Their Right To Military Retirement?

In Virginia, your ex-spouse is entitled to the portion of the retirement unless the former spouse waives their right to that retirement. This issue creates a lot of problems due to another rule established by the military.

How Will My Spouse Get Paid Their Portion of My Military Retirement? If your spouse is not married to you for greater than ten (10) years from the date of marriage until the entry of the Final Decree of Divorce, DFAS will not pay the former spouse her share of the retirement directly. It is therefore up to the military spouse to pay the former spouse from their retirement.

As can be seen from the above, everyone’s situation can be different. Given the magnitude of this asset, you need to know which option will work best for you. To discuss these issues give us a call or chat with us via the chat application on the website.

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