We salute all the members of the United States military and their service to our country. We also understand the complexities associated with a military divorce or domestic relations situation that involves a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard. We would like to share with the members of the military extensive legal experience and dedication in the handling of a divorce or domestic relations matter.
Divorce, dissolution and other types of domestic issues can be multifaceted when it involves a member of the military. There may be multiple jurisdictions involved and certain parts of military and federal law and procedure that apply. Those differences affect every part of a divorce and require specific skills and a high level of experience from a domestic relations attorney.
This is also true with other domestic matters such as child support and child visitation.
There are people who fall under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, which covers military members who may be in harm’s way, and which can often delay proceedings.
Child Support and visitation are other issues which may also be impacted if one or both of the married couple is a member of the military.
Property division can also be very a little different from a normal divorce, especially regarding a military pension, which is often one of the largest assets in a marriage.
Military pension divorce settlement
The most complicated area in a military divorce is the military pension. In 1983 Congress passed the Uniform Services Former Spouses Protection Act which allowed a former spouse of a military participant to participate in the military member’s pension benefit. The military complies with what is known as the military retirement divorce 10 10 rule.
Divorce after 10 years military
The Ten Ten Rule military divorce 10 year rule means in relevant part that for a former spouse to be entitled to pension benefits from a military member, the military member must have
- Been in service for at least ten 10 years; and
- the marriage must have been for at least ten years.
These requirements need to be met in order for the military to honor a separate qualified domestic relations order in a military divorce situation. However, even if a marriage has not been for 10 years, the law has been evolving to allow the Court to place a value on the military pension if the spouse has been in the military for at least 10 years.
Military pension divorce settlement
What this means is that once the marital portion of the military pension is placed with a value, the non-military spouse would be entitled to one-half of the value of the military pension regardless if they have not yet been married for 10 years. The complicated aspect of this is that although the U.S. Government will not recognize a qualified domestic relations order dividing a military pension if the parties have not been married for at least 10 years, Ohio Courts can establish a value in those types of situations and require the military member to somehow through other assets compensate his or her spouse the marital value of the non-military members pension value.
With so many issues in a military divorce that are different from other types of divorces or dissolutions, you need a military divorce lawyer who knows all of the ins and outs.
Military Pensions and Benefits in Divorce
Divorce is complicated enough without throwing into the mix the fact that one or more of the divorcing parties is a military service member or has military benefits. What are they? Watch the video below to find out.