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Retired pay in a military divorce

When a member of the U.S. military in Texas gets divorced from a spouse, there are no doubt many concerns on the part of both spouses related to specific military benefits. One issue that may arise is whether or not the non-military spouse might have access to some portion of the military personnel’s retired pay. 

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service explains clearly that there is no law stipulating that this must happen. Therefore, non-military spouses should never assume they will have access to this asset. The Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act outlines many things that relate to retired pay, however, despite the lack of this benefit being automatic. This Act grants courts in individual states the ability to include retired pay in a marital property division settlement. It also provides a means for enforcing any agreements that are part of a divorce decree relating to retired pay.

Military.com adds that even if a state court wishes to include retired pay in a marital property division agreement, what is referred to as the 10/10 rule must be adhered to. This rule stipulates that the military spouse must have a record of a minimum of 10 years of service during the course of the marriage. In addition, the marriage itself must have lasted at least 10 years.

The USFSPA does allow also for the enforcement of both spousal support and child support awards. For spousal support enforcement, that is only for current awards. Child support enforcement, however, is also provided for existing as well as new awards.



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