How are military benefits treated during a divorce?

When military service members that reside in Arizona find themselves filing for divorce, they have many questions regarding items like their retirement accounts and military benefits. As part of prepping for your divorce, you should take the time to talk to your attorney so that they can answer the many questions that you have. We’re going to share with you some basic details regarding military divorce and how benefits are divided.

Can all military benefits be divided?

When it comes to the topic of military divorce, one of the biggest questions is what can be divided and what can’t. The law specifies particular military benefits that are exempt from being divided during a divorce. These include disposable retired pay, VA disability compensation, most military disability retired pay and combat-related special compensation.

While the above exemptions hold true for the distribution of marital assets, that doesn’t mean that the military service member can keep all these benefits to themselves. A judge may still award compensation from these income streams for various things. These include alimony, child support and other types of family support.

Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act

Passed in 1982, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act helps to outline various laws regarding military divorce and retirement division. This protection act limits the amount of a military member’s disposable retired pay that can be given to their spouse as an award. The maximum amount according to this act is 50%. However, the amount may be increased to a maximum of 65% if there is a court order for the military member to pay child support and or alimony.

As a military service member, you have many different benefits that you may be worried about when undergoing a divorce. By understanding what the laws are regarding your benefits, you can better prepare yourself for the outcome of your divorce. As always, it’s advisable to speak to an attorney so that you can get an official answer regarding laws in your state.