An acrimonious divorce can be emotionally and mentally taxing, especially for spouses of the members of armed forces. Every day military wives and husbands make several sacrifices. They perform all the household and other duties to ensure smooth sailing. If unfortunately, their relationship becomes sour, and the couple decides to part ways, the army makes it a point to recognize the efforts put in by the military spouse. To ensure they don’t face financial hardships after their divorce, the military offers various benefits to ex-spouses of their members. At Ukiah Family Law, we are committed to help ex-military spouses. We are a team of expert divorce attorneys in Mendocino County. We are aware of the ins-and-outs of the family law and offer mediation services to ensure an amicable divorce. We have shared in this post, some benefits that former spouses of military members are entitled to receive. Let’s have a look at each.
1. Free Legal Assistance
Expert legal assistance comes at a cost. The military offers free consultation services related to different matters such as mediation, divorce, and child custody. The military also provides a legal assistance attorney to military spouses. Almost every camp, base, and installation includes a legal assistance office.
2. Health Benefits
Former spouses can continue to receive their TRICARE benefits after divorce if, the following condition (the 20/20/20 rule) is applicable:
- They were married to their military spouse for at least 20 years before divorcing.
- The military spouse served for at least 20 years.
- The marriage and the service overlapped for 20 years or more.
- They haven’t remarried.
In case, there is an overlap of 15 years between the marriage and the service tenure, the former military spouse is entitled to receive TRICARE benefits for up to a year.
3. Survivor Benefit Plan
The SBP aims to help the nominated beneficiary of a deceased military retiree by providing them a portion of the person’s pay. Former spouses can continue to receive this benefit, given the condition that they are designated as the beneficiary. The service member has to change their spouse’s status to ex-spouse within a year of the divorce. The ex-military spouse can also request the court to grant them the right. Former spouses who remarry before 55 aren’t eligible for this benefit.
4. Share in the Military Retirement Pay
The 1982 Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act empowers court to treat military retirement pay as, marital property and divide it accordingly. The military spouse doesn’t receive the pay or any part of it, and the court, in accordance with the state law decides how to divide the pay.
These are some of the benefits available to former military spouses. At Ukiah Family Law, we are aware of the stress and anxiety that divorce can cause. To help our clients focus on getting their lives back on track, our team of divorce attorneys in Mendocino Cityoffers end to end services. To get answers to your questions, call (707) 757-7233 or fill out our contact form, and we’ll get back to you to discuss your case.