Tampa, Florida

Military Divorce

Tampa Military Divorce

What Will Happen To Your Military Benefits?

The division of assets and / or benefits tends to be one of the biggest sticking points in any divorce negotiation, and factoring in military benefits only adds a new wrinkle for you to navigate. While a large portion of the military divorce proceedings follow the same procedures as a civilian divorce, certain laws determine how many, if any, benefits the civilian spouse receives after the divorce and how they can be divided by the court.

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Divorces between two civilian spouses can be complicated on their own, so when you add in the added complications of determining how to divide military benefits it’s in your best interest to hire a legal professional with experience handling these types of cases. At Givens Givens Sparks, our Tampa divorce attorneys have spent decades providing expert legal guidance to clients throughout Florida, and are dedicated to providing the highest level of service to all of our clients. Contact us today to speak with a member of our legal staff.

Former Military Spouse Benefits

Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), civilian ex-spouses of members of the armed forces may be eligible to certain benefits depending on the length of their marriage and the amount of time their spouse served in the military. In order for the civilian to qualify for full exchange, health care, and commissary benefits after the divorce, the spouses must fulfill the requirements of the 20/20/15 or 20/20/20 rule.

20/20/15 Rule Criteria

  • The marriage must have lasted for at least 20 years.
  • The member of the armed forces must have performed 20 years of creditable military service, but does not need to be retired at the time of the divorce.
  • The marriage must have lasted for at least 15 years during the member of the armed forces’ creditable military service.

As long as the marriage lasted for at least 20 years, the member of the armed forces served for at least 20 years’ worth of creditable military service, and the marriage lasted for at least 15 years while the member of the armed forces performed their creditable military service, the civilian ex-spouse is covered by military health care for up to one year following the divorce, but is not eligible to receive either exchange or commissary benefits.

20/20/20 Rule Criteria

  • The marriage must have lasted for at least 20 years.
  • The member of the armed forces must have performed 20 years of creditable military service, but does not need to be retired at the time of the divorce.
  • The marriage must have lasted for at least 20 years during the member of the armed forces’ creditable military service.

As long as the marriage lasted for at least 20 years, the member of the armed forces served for at least 20 years’ worth of creditable military service, and the marriage lasted for at least 20 years while the member of the armed forces performed their creditable military service, the civilian ex-spouse is eligible to receive full exchange, health care, and commissary benefits.

Neither of these rules address what the court may do in regards to the member of the armed service’s retired pay – under USFSPA, the civilian ex-spouse is not automatically entitled to any portion of the pay, but the state is allowed to treat that pay as if it were disposable income in order to divide it among the spouses, or use it for child support or alimony obligations.

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Hire An Experienced Lawyer Today

Divorce can be an incredibly difficult and potentially contentious affair, but hiring a qualified and experienced lawyer to assist you will put you in the best position to fight for the settlement you need to comfortably move on to the next phase of your life. At Givens Givens Sparks, our Tampa divorce lawyers have over 135 years of collective experience, and have helped countless clients negotiate a beneficial divorce agreement. Fill out our online form to tell us more about your case, or give us a call at (813) 518-7941 to speak with a divorce lawyer today.

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At Givens Givens Sparks, your family is our family. As such, we promise to fight for each client and voraciously protect their best interests. Facing a family law issue? Get in touch with us to learn how we can help!

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