How Length of Marriage Affects the Division of Benefits

Military personnel divorce just as civilians do. With any marriage, there are a number of things that could go wrong and cause people to question if they should get a divorce or try to work it out. After much consideration, some couples may decide that divorce is the best option and will start the process. Along with filing papers and having to possibly meet several times, spouses will find that they will have to discuss property division at some point before the divorce is granted.

There are many assets that are considered property that spouses may have to divide, and this includes pensions and other benefits. As in most divorces, this means that one spouse can receive a portion of their spouse’s benefits, but where the benefits come from is dependent upon the length of the marriage.  The military has a ten-year rule that states that if the marriage was ten years or longer, the portion of the military benefits that have been awarded to the service member’s former spouse are to be paid for by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Depending on what the judge decides, a spouse can still be awarded a portion of the benefits no matter how long the marriage lasted. This amount could be small or large, but it too will be the decision of the judge and will have to be paid directly by the service member. This is something that many military members may not be happy about should their former spouse be awarded a large sum.

Military divorces may differ from civilian divorces, but they are a legal matter that should be handled in the best way possible. Divorce may not be something that you will make a decision about overnight, but it something that will take time once you begin the process. Service members who are considering divorce will want to speak to an attorney, as they may be able to answer any questions you may have and assist with the divorce process.

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