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Will children lose benefits after a military divorce?

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Divorce is never easy, and navigating all the various aspects that need to be considered can be stressful. This may be especially true for one who is divorcing a member of the U.S. Military. In addition to gaining knowledge about the Uniformed Services' Former Spouses' Protection Act that may make a divorce easier, Texas families with children have much more to explore about military divorce.

You may be concerned about the military benefits your kids may lose in the event of a divorce. According to the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), children from a military marriage will continue to receive some of the military benefits until they reach the age of 21. This is not affected by the length of time the member has been in service or whether he or she has retired from service. Upon finalization of your divorce, your military dependent ID will have to be turned in, and for the children to maintain access to the benefits, ID cards for them will have to be obtained.

The level of benefits retained by the children depends on the percentage of the child support that is provided by the service member. If his or her contribution to child support exceeds 50 percent, the children will be entitled to all Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) benefits and base exchange stores. When the service member pays less than half the child support, the children will not have those privileges. However, they will continue to have healthcare until the age of 21 -- longer for students and incapacitated children -- for as long as the other parent remains in active duty.

For divorces that occur after the member has retired from military service, special rules exist. The duration of the service and the period in which the marriage overlapped the service time will determine the level of benefits awarded to children and former spouses. When a military marriage ends in divorce, the advice and support of an experienced Texas attorney may be invaluable, especially one who is familiar with military divorce and family law issues that commonly affect members of the U.S. military.

Source: military.com, "We're Getting Divorced. What Military Benefits Do Our Kids Get?", Accessed on June 4, 2015

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