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Understanding military retirement in a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2022 | Divorce

Were you married in the state of Texas? If you are currently thinking of getting divorced, this issue may be complicated by the military service of your spouse. If they are retired from the military, you may be entitled to receive part of their retirement payments. This may come as part of your divorce settlement.

What is the length of time you need to be married?

Military retirement payments are made via the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). There are very strict requirements that a former spouse must meet in order to qualify for direct retirement payments after a military divorce. The married couple must first be married 10 years. This must overlap with 10 years of military service.

If you were married 12 years, and your spouse was in the service for seven of them, you will not be entitled to any payments from DFAS. However, if you were married 12 years and your spouse was in the service for 10 years, you would then be entitled to receive payments.

The amount of time that you were married in order to qualify for these payments may differ from state to state. You should also note that, even if the length of time you were married doesn’t meet the basic criteria, you can still be eligible for payments. These could come as part of the settlement in your divorce.

What is the maximum amount you can receive?

You may be eligible to receive up to 50 percent of your former spouse’s military retirement pay. Once the order is filed with the DFAS, it can take up to 90 days before you can begin to receive your payments. You can speak to the DFAS or your own legal representative in order to get the latest details.