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Exceptions to the Rule in Military Divorce

If you are a military spouse, and you are planning to get a divorce from your partner in short order, chances are that you will lose all the military benefits that you experience as civilian who is married to a member of the armed forces. While most spouses can expect to lose their military benefits when they leave, there are a few exceptions.

The first is reserved for men and women who qualify as a 30/20/20 former spouse. This means that the spouse is still allowed to receive all benefits including Base Exchange, theater, medical benefits, and is still granted use of the commissary on the base. This is only allowed if the couple has been married for at least 20 years and the military spouse performed at least 20 years of service creditable for retired pay. As well, there has to be at least a 20 year overlap between years of marriage and years of military service.

There is another exception in military divorces that is called the 30/20/15 rule. This is a rule that commands all eligible spouses qualify for medical benefits for one year after the date of the divorce. This one-year grace period is reserved for parties who stayed married for at least 20 years and for members who performed at least 20 years of service that was creditable for retired pay. As well, the couple must show that there was a 15 year overlap between the marriage and the years of the military service.

While this can be a benefit for a lot of former spouses, the offer does not extend to those who were covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan. If you want more information about health care and other military benefits in the midst of a divorce, then talk to a military divorce attorney at Cutter & Lax for assistance!

Categories: Military Benefits


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