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Understanding the 20/20/20 military divorce rule

If you live in Texas, are in a military marriage and suspect divorce may be in your future, you may have concerns about whether you or your soon-to-be-ex spouse will maintain access to military benefits after you divorce. At the Law Offices of Keith E. Holloway, we have a firm understanding of the special considerations involved in military divorces, and we have helped many clients learn to navigate them and adjust to life on their own.

Per Military.com, whether you or your ex can maintain access to military benefits, such as TRICARE and use of a commissary, will ultimately depend on whether your marriage and you or your partner’s service meet certain criteria. More specifically, as a couple, you must meet the terms outlined by the 20/20/20 military divorce rule for the non-military member in the marriage to maintain access to benefits, post-divorce.

Essentially, the 20/20/20 rule dictates that, in order for both parties to maintain military benefits after the marriage dissolves, your marriage must have lasted at least 20 years. Furthermore, the party in the military must have served at least 20 years, and the marriage and the period of military service must have overlapped by at least 20 years. Children you share, however, will typically maintain access to military benefits after the divorce, even if both parties in the marriage do not.

Keep in mind, however, that the 20/20/20 rule applies specifically to military benefits. You may still be able to secure, for example, alimony or child support following your divorce to help you get back on your feet. More about military divorce is available on our website.

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