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How do I file to get my share of military retirement benefits?

If you are a military spouse who is about to get divorced, you likely are wondering how the process will unfold. In a previous post, we covered various aspects of a spouse's rights to a service member's retirement pay. And if you qualify to receive retirement pay as stipulated by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, you may be curious what steps are needed to receive your payments.

So, what needs to be done to get the ball rolling? Well, fortunately, there is a standard process that the Defense Finance and Accounting Services follows to help ensure that your payments are made in accordance with the USFSPA. The first step involves you completing and filing an Application for Former Spouse Payments from Retired Pay, also referred to a DD Form 2293.

You will also need to attach a copy of the relevant court order containing your award or awards, certified by the court clerk. Additionally, there is other documentation you may need to include to complete the application process so the DFAS can confirm that you meet all the requirements. When assembled, your application packet needs to be sent by either mail or fax to Garnishment Operations at the Defense Finance Accounting Service.

Filing your application for payments is only one of the many steps that comprise the military divorce process. And if you want to expedite your divorce as efficiently as possible, you could likely benefit from having a family law attorney represent your interests. The attorney could work to help you get the maximum benefits to which you are entitled and also go over your application prior to submission to make sure it contains all the necessary information.

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