Elkouri Heath, PLC

248-344-9700

39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

How Are Military Retirement Benefits Addressed During Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Novi divorce attorney for military retirement benefitsWhen a member of the military or the spouse of a military member files for divorce, they face certain challenges and issues that other divorcing couples may not face. For example, one major issue that divorcing military spouses may need to address is determining how military retirement benefits are distributed between spouses. When a person joins the military, they receive various benefits, such as free or subsidized healthcare, access to various military bases, and generous retirement benefits when their time in the service is done. Those benefits could become an asset of interest during a divorce, which is why you should know how they are handled in the event you and your spouse disagree.

Divorce and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act

According to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), a person is only eligible to receive payments directly from the Department of Finance and Accounting (DFAS)  if they meet the requirements of the “10/10 rule.” This rule states that spouses must have been married for at least 10 years, and the service member must have served 10 years during the marriage. If the couple was not married for 10 years, or the serving spouse did not serve 10 years, then the other spouse is not eligible for payments directly from DFAS.

A Spouse May Still Receive Retirement Benefits Through Their Divorce Agreement

However, a person still may be able to receive a portion of their spouse’s military retirement pay if it is included in the divorce agreement. In addition to setting the 10/10 rule, the USFSPA allows each state to apply its own rules and include military retirement benefits in the property division process. In Michigan, courts try to distribute marital property in an equitable manner, meaning that it may not always be a 50/50 split. If a person is awarded a portion of their spouse’s military benefits in their divorce settlement, they may receive up to 50 percent of the total retirement award. 

Speak to an Oakland County Military Divorce Attorney Today

When it comes to divorce, being in the military can complicate certain things. If you are divorcing a spouse who is in the military, or if you are in the military and are looking to get a divorce, you need help from a knowledgeable Novi, MI military divorce lawyer. At Elkouri Heath, PLC, we can help you with any issues you may be facing in your divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 248-344-9700.

Source:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/Military_Family_Law_Booklet_463216_7.pdf

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top