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How does a retirement pension get divided in a military divorce?

The process of divorce can prove somewhat confusing to the parties involved. If you did not expect that your marriage would end in divorce, you may have never considered the various ramifications of property division. A military divorce has specific issues pertaining to benefits that are not found in a typical civilian divorce. For example, as discussed on the military.com website, there are specific guidelines regarding the way in which a military retirement pension is divided.

When a service member retires from the military after having been active for 20 or more years, they are to receive a life-long retirement pension. So, in the case of divorce, how might the funds from this pension be divided?

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act deems that military retirement pensions be treated as marital property. This means the pensions can be divided when a married couple gets a divorce. In fact, half of the pension is granted as an entitlement to a spouse who has been married to a military member for 10 years. However, it is possible to negotiate the terms of pension division.

During divorce proceedings, a state court could actually grant an ex-spouse more than a half of a retiree’s military pension. One half is the maximum amount that will be taken out of the retiree’s pension payment by the finance center. If the retiree is ordered to pay more, they will be responsible for paying that amount directly to their ex-spouse.

Additionally, if a state court awards part of a military pension to an ex-spouse and the divorcing couple was not married a minimum of ten years, then the retiree must arrange to make the payments personally.

If you are contemplating a military divorce, your ability to receive that to which you are entitled could be aided by appropriate legal counsel. A Texas attorney who is familiar with the laws applicable to military divorce may be able to see that you get a fair settlement.

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