Military Spouse Benefits After Divorce

Military Spouse Benefits After Divorce

Military members make huge sacrifices for our country, and their families often have to bear the burden as well. One of the most difficult challenges military families face is divorce. When a military marriage ends, both spouses can feel lost and uncertain about their future. One question that often comes up is this: do military spouse benefits continue after divorce? 

We will explore the answer to that question and discuss the various benefits available to divorced military spouses in this blog post. Bear in mind that this is not intended to replace legal advice. The military offers free legal assistance to help with divorce and other family matters. We advise getting in touch with a legal professional since every military divorce is different.

Retirement Pay

Military retirement is often the most valuable asset in any military family. Values range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars depending on the military member’s rank. This is considered a marital asset and is divisible upon divorce. However, the payment only commences when the active member retires from duty.

This is also true for the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which is considered a divisible asset upon divorce. On the other hand, VA Disability Payments are not considered a divisible asset and will only be used to determine alimony and child support.

Health Benefits

Military medical benefits are covered by the 20/20/20 rule and are not divisible. Only couples who have been married for at least 20 years, where the active member has served for at least 20 years are eligible to continue receiving health care benefits. If the marriage and service duty overlapped for 20 years, the ex-military spouse can continue enjoying TRICARE for free. If the overlap was only 15 years, the ex-military spouse can enjoy 1-year transitional medical benefits. Otherwise, the former spouse loses all medical benefits. 

If the former spouse remarries, all medical benefits are forfeited. 

Educational Benefits

The Post 9/11 GI Bill and other education benefits are non-divisible assets. These benefits are for the military member only. However, the military member has the option to transfer it to a spouse or child. In case of divorce, the former spouse can continue enjoying the GI benefits as long as the member agrees. 

Housing Benefits

Military families can only live in military housing as long as the couple is married. Upon divorce, they have 30 days to vacate the residence. While a court decision is pending, the military member is required to pay a monthly allowance equivalent to BAH to their separated spouse. When the court decision is made, the BAH payments stop and the member follows whatever alimony and child support the judge mandates.

Dependent children can continue accessing military installations as long as they have a children’s ID card. Non-military parents can also access these places as long as they are with the child who is a military ID cardholder.

Military Benefits After Divorce

Although military benefits for divorced spouses are few, the division of retirement pay is a major benefit that can provide some financial stability during difficult times. If you are planning a divorce, make sure you understand how this process works and how to receive any military benefits due you. Always consult a divorce lawyer familiar with military laws. 

Explore the rest of PA Guard to learn more about military benefits and their impact on you. 

Leona Rankin
Founder Leona has worked for years as a Corporate Security Manager until she decided to form the company. She deemed all information regarding security should be regarded as a necessity, especially nowadays where threat may be imminent everywhere, whether in the physical, or the digital world.