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The many challenges of a military divorce

Friday, September 22, 2017

When military couples in Texas get divorced, state law governs the proceedings. However, the division of retirement money and the benefits to which the former spouse will be entitled is guided by the provisions of federal law. Each case of military divorce is unique, and state awarded benefits are not necessarily guaranteed.

During a couple's separation in the time leading up to the divorce, the spouse who is a service member will remain responsible for supporting his or her spouse and their children. The policies of the various service branches differ with relation to support amounts. If the involved parties fail to come to a mutual agreement about the interim support, the appropriate policies will prevail.

The spouse who is not a service member will -- in most cases -- lose his or her military ID card and other privileges upon finalization of the divorce. However, that spouse will retain full benefits during the separation time. Former military spouses are classified as 20/20/20 or 20/20/15 spouses, depending on the length of the marriage, the length of service and the overlap of the military service and the marriage. A divorced non-military spouse who does not qualify for these classifications will not be eligible for military medical care. However, a plan can be purchased under the Department of Defense Continued Health Care Benefit Program that will provide continued eligibility for military medical care for a further 36 months.

There are undoubtedly more challenges in a military divorce, but, fortunately, it need not be faced alone. Answers to questions can be provided by an experienced military divorce attorney in Texas, who is knowledgeable about state, federal and military laws. A lawyer can provide guidance and support throughout all the legal proceedings and protect the rights of the client.

Source: militaryfamily.org, "Divorce", Accessed on Jan. 14, 2016

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