Tricky ins and outs of military divorce

Q: I have been mar­ried for 31 years and now my hus­band wants a divorce. After much bick­er­ing about who gets what, he does not want to relin­quish his retire­ment. So he had con­vinced me to relin­quish this to him (not yet in writ­ing) on the stip­u­la­tion that I would get his sur­vivors ben­e­fits. We were mar­ried dur­ing his total enlist­ment time of 22 years. Now from what I under­stand, I’m enti­tled to half the retire­ment and SBP. Is this true? I get the feel­ing he’s try­ing to pull a fast one by mak­ing me think he’s giv­ing me some­thing that appar­ently I was already enti­tled to just to keep his retire­ment to him­self. I want to pro­tect myself but it’s dif­fi­cult when you aren’t sure of the rules. Please help.

–Susan, Mekinock, N.D.

A: I’m sorry to hear you two are going through this. You need to enlist the help of an attor­ney famil­iar with the nuances of mil­i­tary divorce…and quick. I’m a lit­tle con­cerned here. You’re right, there are a lot of tricky ins and outs when it comes to a mil­i­tary divorce!

The 1982 Uni­formed Ser­vices For­mer Spouse Pro­tec­tion Act (USFSPA) allows mil­i­tary retire­ment to be divided as mar­i­tal prop­erty dur­ing a divorce. That retire­ment pen­sion may well end up being the biggest and most valu­able asset you have. While it’s cer­tainly not man­dated that you receive a por­tion of retire­ment, a judge may feel you have a right to it.

You’re wise to con­sider pro­tect­ing your por­tion of this retire­ment income through the Sur­vivor Ben­e­fit Plan (SBP). Again, this would need to be clearly man­dated by the divorce decree. A word to the wise: remar­riage before age 55 would elim­i­nate SBP – unless your sec­ond mar­riage ends due to divorce or death.  

On a very impor­tant note, since you were mar­ried for more than 20 years while your hus­band served, you’ll also be eli­gi­ble for the military’s health­care called TRICARE. But remem­ber, if you remarry at any age your eli­gi­bil­ity is per­ma­nently terminated.

This is a fairly com­plex topic hap­pen­ing dur­ing a dif­fi­cult time. You need some­one to advo­cate on your behalf, so get good legal representation!

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210 responses to “Tricky ins and outs of military divorce”

  1. I fought for my coun­try. I’m mar­ried to a nut job who con­stantly abuses me. He needs to hold up his end of the deal. So screw you. If you don’t know everyone’s sit­u­a­tion. Keep your mouth shut.

    1. THE RETIREMENT/RETAINER SHOULD GO TO THE ONE THAT EARNED IT, NOT THE FORMER SPOUSE ! !
      This is an open site for peo­ple to voice their opin­ions, so until YOU own this site, please keep your nasty opin­ions to your­self.
      If you keep get­ting abused, maybe you should try using the door ! Or is it that you like it ? Hmmmm

      1. Maybe your opin­ion is swayed so far in one direc­tion because of a hid­den bias…have you ever been mar­ried and went through a nasty divorce? Or pos­si­bly seen some­one else go through an unfair split?
        If not, you give the impres­sion you should not get married…you have to at least agree that both spouses invest in the mar­riage, the other per­son, the love, the fam­ily, the moves, the sep­a­ra­tions, the dis­ap­point­ments, and is affected by the mil­i­tary whether indi­rectly or directly to a great amount…from day one to at least year twenty, unless adul­tery occurred, both par­ties faith­fully worked for at least something…whynis half and half not fair if the time was equal?

        1. Sure. We each invested in each other, but she gets the kids and my retire­ment. Why don’t I get any­thing from her? Other than the fact that she has noth­ing because she was con­tent to let me work while she stayed home?

      2. You don’t sound one bit nasty Becky…(Sarcasm)

    2. Good for you, lady! I mar­ried a nut job, too.…and now I get forty per­cent of his retire­ment and am proud of it!! He knew the deal when he mar­ried my butt and dragged me across the coun­try, I could never have a sta­ble career, away fm famly and friends, liv­ing in places I hated so he could climb the lad­der to success…so Mr. You Don’t Know Jack $%! keep your measley opin­ions to yourself…and BTW, he left me with two bro­ken arms fm an acci­dent , and walked out.…to be w/ his girlfriend!

      1. i hate when peo­ple act like this. Im a mil­i­tary brat, and spouse and going thru divorce myself.…while we may not fight for our coun­try, who the hell takes care of your kids, your, house, your car, your pets, your bills etc while u are away?!!?!? think about that!!!

        1. aaaaaand you’d be doing that even if your spouse wasn’t in the mil­i­tary so what is your point? If your ex was a sales­man or an elec­tri­cian you wouldn’t have a retire­ment pen­sion to go after so why do you think you are “enti­tled” to his mil­i­tary pension?

          1. because if he was an elec­tri­cian or sales­per­son he wouldn’t have dragged our asses from duty sta­tion to duty sta­tion and pre­vent our career

          2. Mov­ing from sta­tion to sta­tion NEVER inhib­ited my career. If it inhib­ited yours then you know what…you either weren’t trained in the proper field or like so many spouses I’ve met, didn’t really want a job and used the moves as an excuse.

            And if your hus­band was a sales­per­son they’d be gone for weeks at a time and would drag your butt all over the coun­try pur­su­ing bet­ter job options. My father was in sales, he was gone more often than not and we moved every few years usually.

      2. About half the mil­i­tary spouses I know have man­aged, because it was a PRIOTY to them, to estab­lish a career despite the moves. But I guess some don’t want to put forth the effort.

  2. depend­ing on what state your in– yes you are ENTITLED, get an attor­ney who is National Guard , I’m sure their is a National Guard HQ’s unit located in phone book, call and ask for the JAG– ask if any attor­neys rep­re­sent in civil­ian court and their names…- good luck to you!

  3. It gets screwier with two mem­bers. My brother is dis­charged at 100%, after get­ting shot in Iraq. His soon-to-be-ex-wife is now enlisted and they were in the pro­gram that assured them of being posted simul­ta­ne­ously… Their divorce date keeps being re-set and they are both hav­ing prob­lems with it and each other…

    1. I too have Viet­nam 100% ser­vice con­nected hus­band. As I under­stand I am not enti­tled unless he has extra after pay­ing for his care! I stayed home most of the time as his care­giver, advo­cated and raised our 2 chil­dren. the VA has finally, after 40 years dri­ven me over the edge. I can not deal any more, must try to save myself at this point. If I divorce I would loose my DIC after his death! Hardly seems fair. So I may leave with noth­ing but a few invest­ments I have been able to put together!
      Any­body have any infor­ma­tion?
      carol

  4. The whole fam­ily serves when a mem­ber is deployed. Good God.

  5. Becky, you’re an idiot! While the hus­band was fight­ing for our coun­try as you say, months away from EVERYONE in the fam­ily, the wife was rais­ing that fam­ily, ALONE. THAT WAS HER FULL TIME JOB! 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK. With no ben­e­fits! The wife makes many sac­ri­fices while her hus­band is deployed, the con­stant mov­ing. Even if she were to have an out­side job, after child­care there isn’t much left and she wouldn’t be there long enough to accrue retire­ment ben­e­fits. So it makes finan­cial sense for her to stay at home full time. She has earned a share of the mil­i­tary benefits.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    2. you tell her.…absolutely cor­rect. we wives have made many, many sac­ri­fices and deserve our por­tion! if she endured what most of have along with kids, she’d be singing a dif­fer­ent “tune”.….

      1. I have kids, I work full time, I’ve moved count­less times with my hus­band and I would never sink to try­ing to take my hus­bands retire­ment in the event of a divorce. If you choose to stay home and raise your kids, par­tic­u­larly once the kids are in school, and don’t choose to par­tic­i­pate in the real work­ing world then you have no one to blame but your­self when you come out hus­band­less and skill less and job less.

        1. I couldn’t agree more.

    3. Thank you !

    4. But although they each gave and made sac­ri­fices, she is the only one who gets paid. What does he get for all the sup­port HE gave HER? Nothing.

    5. Hmmmm, my wife was sleep­ing with mul­ti­ple peo­ple had the grand par­ents raise my kids while I was deployed. She will get half my retire­ment. I am not say­ing this to be mean but most mil­i­tary spouses are straight up whores as soon as the hus­band leaves they are bent over tak­ing one or two. Just my expe­ri­ence, the ones that say they were faith­ful were just never caught. whores.

      1. Being both prior mil­i­tary and a mil­i­tary spouse I have seen what hus­bands and wives do when they are away from the other. No mat­ter which side is which it hap­pens. So I guess that makes men *****s just as much as the women you are accus­ing of being one.

      2. While I can agree that things like this occur VERY often. I can also say that after 18 years of com­mit­ted and faith­ful mar­riage to my mil­i­tary hus­band that state­ment not only goes for the spouse but for the mil­i­tary mem­ber also. It’s really strange how after time away for deploy­ments and courses and such, the mil­i­tary mem­ber comes back with “close mil­i­tary friends” which hap­pen to be of the oppo­site sex and who feel enti­tled to con­tact­ing your hus­band at their leisure of course out­side of the pres­ence of their spouse and when ques­tioned about it the answer is sim­ply “mil­i­tary peo­ple develop close bonds with each other when we’re deployed with which you will never under­stand”. The dif­fer­ence? .… The sol­dier has a great alibi and there’s lit­tle we can do but be made out to be the “crazy ****h wife” who is just inse­cure, jeal­ous and is (and I quote) “the joke of the unit”. I’m not mad at you because what hap­pened to you is very painful but it hap­pens on the flip side too and hurts equally. I may be look­ing at a divorce also and feel very guilty about this retire­ment issue; but in the end, my assets and retire­ment stand to be split just as well.

  6. Hav­ing been an Active Duty mem­ber myself for 12 years than becom­ing the Dependent/Spouse, I under­stand “Beckys” view on the mat­ter but the mil­i­tary fam­ily and lifestyle isn’t just about the ser­vice mem­ber. The fam­ily is in it as a “team” deal­ing with fre­quent moves and hard­ships asso­ci­ated with deploy­ments and other com­mit­ments. When a spouse makes career sac­ri­fices due to the ser­vice mem­bers career, than I think the retire­ment belongs to BOTH. When a cou­ple endure mil­i­tary life as “A cou­ple” than they both expect to reap the rewards from retire­ment as a cou­ple. Obvi­ously, when a split in the mar­riage occurs, so does the retirement.

    1. No it doesn’t belong to both. My ex depends on my half of my retire­ment. Thank God she will lose it and all she uses it to pay for since I will be dead in less than 30 days.

    2. I am so happy that some­one is in the same boat as me. I too served 12 yrs and i too became a wife of a active duty ser­vice mem­ber. The sac­ri­fices of being a good wife,mother, deserves half and for some­one to chal­lenge it should only be allowed when she was not any of the things i men­tioned ear­lier. I also feel the laws are not fair for Health­care. I feel that if a woman is mar­ried total time military/retired 20 years she should be enti­tled to it also. If any­one wants to fight that bat­tle i am in.……

  7. Is it more fair for the non­work­ing spouse to get half of the work­ing spouse retire­ment in any divorce? Is there really any difference?

  8. A male dom­i­nated soci­ety gov­erned by rules that dis­crim­i­nate against men. No one on the hill will touch the 1982 act because it was enacted by Ronald Rea­gan, everyone’s hero. Do not under­stand how a mil­i­tary pen­sion is shared by the spouse (whether male or female). Writ­ten in to law to over­com­pen­sate on the side of women (even the ver­biage in the act is biased). My ex sat around, neglected our chil­dren, spent our sav­ings etc. etc. Now she gets part of my retire­ment irre­gard­less of my dis­abil­ity from Iraq. Just not morally right.

    1. and another thing, those that say mil­i­tary career is a “shared” career thus ben­e­fits are shared: Sorry, just not true. 32Years as United States Marine = YEARS away from fam­ily sleep­ing in tents, no heat, no food, no sleep, phys­i­cal fit­ness tests, rifle range, pis­tol range, daily phys­i­cal train­ing, stress over per­for­mance for pro­mo­tion, man­ag­ing junior Marines, oh yeah, and being in harms way.….the list is end­less. AND THEN, your career is used against you for all your time away yet they still want part of the retire­ment?
      Spouse’s hard­ships? Please.

      1. As a spouse myself, I’m stuck at a duty sta­tion where I’m not able to find a job in my career field. I basi­cally gave up my career so that my hus­band can have his. Being a mil­i­tary wife/mother is any­thing but glo­ri­ous. It’s hard on a fam­ily. I will never climb the cor­po­rate lad­der when I have to move every 2–3 years. Yes, you are the one who is away from the fam­ily when deployed, but the only per­son you have to worry about is your­self. The per­son back home has a lot more on their plate, espe­cially if there are kids in the pic­ture. Any­way, with that said, if my hus­band decided to leave me after 20+ years of mar­riage, you bet your a** I should get some of that retire­ment pay.

    2. Every sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent. There are cer­tainly mil­i­tary spouses who don’t con­tribute much (sounds like yours, MSgt W), but many, many do. As Gator­PAO said, by agree­ing to live the mil­i­tary lifestyle often spouses (male or female) don’t have an oppor­tu­nity to earn senior­ity at work, receive pro­mo­tions, etc, because of their “tem­po­rary” sta­tus. As a finan­cial plan­ner, I can tell with cer­tainty that neg­a­tively impacts ones’ abil­ity to build retire­ment sav­ings. Mil­i­tary retire­ment is not auto­mat­i­cally awarded, it’s sim­ply con­sid­ered mar­i­tal prop­erty and as such may (or may not) be split in a divorce situation.

    3. Just as you would get half of her pen­sion if she worked and con­tributed to one while you did noth­ing. It’s called com­mu­nity prop­erty. Pen­sions earned dur­ing mar­riage are com­mu­nity property.

      Get over it.

    4. It is sad, but it is the law, and if we had more peo­ple that would love each other for bet­ter or worst, they could stay mar­ried and they would be happy. And there would be no split in retire­ment. Best thing to have done was not get mar­ried and had chil­dren that have to suf­fer in a divorce. So when the mar­riage is over is when every one finds out what they have to split.
      Next time do not get mar­ried! Because even your SS, has to be part of your spouse“s income when you become of age for it. if you were mar­ried more then 10 years.

    5. There is no such word as “irre­gard­less” that would be a dou­ble neg­a­tive. The “ir” essen­tially means “have not”, so what you are say­ing is “hav­ing no-having no regard” because the word regard­less means not hav­ing any regard. I am a stay at home mother of 6, I am excel­lent at what I do. In the bible it is called being the jewel in my husband’s crown. Because he is mar­ried to me, he can deploy, work any crazy hours and pretty much be the out­stand­ing offi­cer and gen­tle­man that I mar­ried. I have not been able to work out­side our home as our lifestyle wouldn’t have allowed it and our chil­dren would have suf­fered. If my hus­band were to leave me then I should be com­pen­sated for all the clean­ing, cook­ing, child rear­ing, sup­port­ing, man­ag­ing and miriad of other things I con­tribute to the “fam­ily” bot­tom line. Per­haps you didn’t marry well, but you did marry that woman of your own free will. Your com­ment is boor­ish and makes you seem petty and childish.

      1. you COULD work out­side the home you CHOOSE not to. Doing chores for a liv­ing does NOT con­sti­tute earn­ing a pay­check for the rest of your life. Why should a ser­vice mem­ber have to pay their ex 50% of their retire­ment FOR LIFE (say another 30–40 years), for 5–10 years of them doing com­mon house­hold chores? Espe­cially when said ser­vice mem­ber has been pay­ing you for all the “clean­ing, cook­ing, child rear­ing, sup­port­ing” dur­ing the time of mar­riage by pay­ing for your very exis­tence, the roof over your head, the food in your mouth, the clothes on your back and the enter­tain­ment you seek since as you point out…you’re unemployed.

  9. I’ve been Navy for 24 years, so how is my spouse enti­tled to my retire­ment ben­e­fits, Joni and Sandy?. You knew being a mil­i­tary wife was not going to be a walk in the park. You made the choice to marry a mil­i­tary mem­ber. No one forced you. Last I checked, I was the one out to sea for 6 months at a time and fly­ing 10 hours a day.….….NOT YOU.

    1. You are right, no one forced me to marry a ser­vice mem­ber. Guess what, I was already mar­ried when he decided to join after fin­ish­ing col­lege. Should I have left him? We already had one child together. It is what he wanted to do and I sup­ported him with his deci­sion. Sure I knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but there was no way I was going to be able to change his mind.

    2. “You knew being a mil­i­tary wife was not going to be a walk in the park..” Yeah, and you “knew” when you got legally mar­ried that you were giv­ing sig­nif­i­cant legal power and sta­tus to your wife. That sta­tus means that most states will deter­mine some “equi­table” dis­tri­b­u­tion of a mil­i­tary retire­ment. No fam­ily court judge will com­pletely deny the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the spouse in the house­hold and thus her right to some por­tion of the retire­ment. Commu nity prop­erty states make this easy, every­thing earned by both spouses goes into the kitty and at the time of the divorce will be split down the middle.

    3. YES! and u knew the ben­e­fit rule before u mar­ried and u made the chioce to marry.you may have been out to sea but we were home wait­ing putting our life on hold for u. NOT YOU.….….…

    4. Because your pen­sion was earned dur­ing your mar­riage, it’s com­mu­nity prop­erty in a divorce.

      Why are mil­i­tary peo­ple so dense that they can­not under­stand this sim­ple principle?

      If your spouse has saved for retire­ment, you’re enti­tled to have of that.

    5. i have seen my uncle and aunt go through this …its really dif­fi­cult and i can agree with this argu­ment ‚if you know that life’s gonna be a piece of crap with a mil­i­tary person,why the hell would you marry them?

  10. L.E.L.: I can under­stand YOUR point, but let’s face it, after I’VE served 24 years of my life miss­ing out on valu­able fam­ily time.….…..I don’t see that you’ve fully earned half of what I earned. I can’t speak for all, but being an offi­cer, the spouse wasn’t com­plain­ing when they went to the bank to get money out that I earned

    1. ya and im sure while u were tdy u were not call­ing home to tell he what bar or what whore u were with. u all do it and we are at home tie down to what u left at home..u knew the rules before mar­riage so now pay up.….

      1. B_ _ _ _ might be the word not all men to as you have accused them all of doing, let take a look at you woman who whore around as soon as the men leave for com­bat, or train­ing. then divorce because we dont dring or party or lis­ten to rock and roll music then walk out on the man and the kids only to move in with a man 10 years younger a drug abuser and drunk then sub­ject the kids ya thats 75 % of you woman, then what of the ones of you who where beau­ti­ful when mar­ried the you dont do any­thing to keep your self up sit around and eat and get larger and larger ect. what about all of thoes woman the largest partof mil­i­tary wifes ya you really have our retire­ment for what you find out that after 10 years you get half, but gues what the soilder has to do all the rest of the time on his own ya the law and you woman are all wrong.

  11. I’ve been both; the spouse (first) and the ser­vice mem­ber (now). No, I don’t think the for­mer spouse deserves to keep part of the money. I got divorced not too long ago, and I specif­i­cally said that I do not want any­thing from my ex hub’s ben­e­fits. Any­ways, I’m get­ting more than him ’cause I’m now a higher pay­grade than him.

    1. ok that was your choice.but if u get mar­ried again dont think it will turn out that way so think before u do remarry .do i want to share my ben­e­fits with my, spouse if not u bet­ter stay single.

      1. I’m tired of see­ing your igno­rance! Luck­ily you fought to pro­tect that free­dom of speech amend­ment. Oh wait, you didn’t, the ser­vicem­ber did. And that is what that pay is for. Not for some snobby woman back home with a sense of enti­tle­ment. I’m so tired of Amer­i­can woman and their sense of enti­tle­ment. You obvi­ously have no clue what it is to earn some­thing or you wouldn’t be after his retire­ment. Sorry about the gen­er­al­iza­tion about Amer­i­can women but you per­son­ally are a low life piece of scum. Your hus­band or ex might as well of mar­ried a leach because that’s what you are.

  12. Oh trust me Sandy, I wasn’t try­ing to attack you in any way. You’re right, noth­ing you said was going to change his mind. In that case, HE should have con­sid­ered how it was going to impact you as a spouse before he finally signed up. I noticed you said he joined after col­lege (hope­fully through OCS) as did I, so I would trust that he’s been tak­ing care of you and the child. I grew up mil­i­tary , as a son of a Air Force career offi­cer. I know what it’s like to sta­tioned at f’d up bases and loca­tions. But please remem­ber this.…..all the crap you’re going through, just imag­ine what it’s like for him

    1. I KNEW THAT IT MIGHT BE A HARD ROW TO HOE BUT IT IS THE SAME ALL OVER FOR EVERYONE. I MARRIED MY ARMY G I CAUSE I LOVED HIM AND WANTED TO BE WITH HIM. I NEVER THOUGHT WE WOULD EVER BE RICH. I FIGURED IF WE GOT TO RETIREMENT WE WOUD BE VERY LUCKY. I HAD HOPED THAT WE WOULD LEAN ON EACH OTHER FOR HELP AND SUPPORT FOR ALL OF OUR LIVES AND WALK HAND IN HAND TO THE END OF OUR DAYS. IT DIDN’T HAPPEN

    2. I’m tired of sol­diers imply­ing that what they go through is a lot worse than what their spouse goes through. sol­diers choose their career. in many cases, the spouse does not want that kind of a life–always mov­ing, deal­ing with rem­anag­ing their lives dur­ing deploy­ments, putting a lot of their goals and pur­suits on hold. Spouses most often do not choose this job. Sol­diers do so I think they need to stop try­ing to make every­one feel bad for them. Really, it’s ridiculous.

      1. And the spouses know what they are get­ting into when they marry a sol­dier so YES they did choose that life, we all did. A spouses job is NOT harder than that of a soldier

  13. My ex-wife left me after 15 years for another man. I spent 22 years in the mil­i­tary and she takes half my retire­ment, she should get ZERO. She left the mar­riage on her own free will, nothing.……

  14. I’m a happily-married enlisted mil­i­tary wife of 19 years and have actu­ally man­aged to find a career where I make MORE than my hus­band AND have accu­mu­lated some sub­stan­tial retire­ment invest­ments. In most states my hus­band would be eli­gi­ble for half of those invest­ments if we divorced since it was earned dur­ing the mar­riage. Why shouldn’t the same be true of mil­i­tary retire­ment assets? We BOTH worked, we BOTH sac­ri­ficed, and we BOTH are deserv­ing of a share of assets if our rela­tion­ship went bad. Yes, he had a more phys­i­cally demand­ing job (oddly enough he was never in a war zone), but I had the more intel­lec­tu­ally chal­leng­ing job that required almost 9 years of college–so maybe I should actu­ally be the one deserv­ing of a larger percentage.

    1. The key word here AMY is BOTH and yes I agree if you both did it together then it should be split equally but in many cas­es­both women and men are mar­ry­ing mil­i­tary mbrs just to get a piece of their retire­ment and con­tin­ues to do it.…marry and then divorce numer­ous times.…Crazy!!!!

  15. And you peo­ple don’t want gays in the mil­i­tary… sounds like you mar­ried folks have enough wor­ry­ing about your own rela­tion­ships. I know when I was the Chief of a divi­sion… every ship, it was the same, I almost wanted to shoot myself with some of the crap the young and older mar­ried guys came in with. Deal­ing with that alone made me wor­thy of a medal or at least haz­ardous duty pay. :-)

  16. Opin­ions have no bear­ing on whether or not I am eli­gi­ble to receive a part of my spouse’s mil­i­tary pen­sion at divorce. The deci­sion that I AM eli­gi­ble has already been decided by the Depart­ment of Defense who agree that the mil­i­tary spouse or mil­i­tary retiree spouse has the right to gain those assets.

    My hus­band com­mit­ted adul­tery with a trans­gen­dered man and has been involved in that kind of infi­delity for a good part of our mar­riage. He appar­ently mar­ried me to aid in con­ceal­ing his homo­sex­u­al­ity while he was in the Navy. When he retired, he began in earnest to pre­pare for divorce to pur­sue his pre­ferred lifestyle.

    1. Yes girl­friend you def­i­nitely deserve it and I am in the military.…that is horrible.

    2. so why did you stay in the mar­riage if you were fully aware of his lifestyle??? Every­one has a choice in life

  17. The idea that female spouses seek to marry mil­i­tary men for the pur­pose of gain­ing some finan­cial advan­tage is total malarchy and has no basis in fact. What non-officer mil­i­tary man makes enough money for any woman to think them to be a finan­cial gold mine? I would say NONE. In fact, being mar­ried to a mil­i­tary mem­ber is more trou­ble then it is worth if the mar­riage is not because of love and devotion.

    The divorce rate for active-duty mil­i­tary mem­bers has risen since 2001. The divorce rate has risen from 2.6 per­cent in 2001 to 3.6 per­cent in 2009. The mil­i­tary divorce rate is higher than the civil­ian aver­age of 3.4 per­cent. In 2009, the Pen­ta­gon esti­mates there were 50,000 mil­i­tary divorces. The Pentagon’s num­bers are not an accu­rate reflec­tion because they do not include divorce num­bers for National Guard mem­bers.
    Source: The Dal­las Morn­ing News, “Stress of Sep­a­ra­tion Takes Its Toll on Mil­i­tary Fam­i­lies,” David Tar­rant, 12/19/10

  18. I sac­ri­ficed my career, my poten­tial earn­ings, my abil­ity to gain retire­ment through my long term employ­ment when I mar­ried him. I aided him i his mil­i­tary career endeav­ors. I attended mil­i­tary func­tions as his spouse which had bear­ing on how he was per­ceived in his com­mand. I assisted him after retire­ment in the pur­suit of edu­ca­tion and gain­ing of employ­ment. All of this was done with­out any assis­tance given to my career con­cerns at all.

    I am cer­tain that all mil­i­tary mem­bers who are mar­ried in any posi­tion of author­ity, are aware of the impor­tance of the spousal role in mil­i­tary cul­ture and mil­i­tary organizations.

    1. Grow up Lynn. Mem­bers are not pro­moted based on what they have on their arm at a social func­tion. They are pro­moted based on merit, abil­i­ties and future poten­tial. Take a look at his­tory and tell me that all suc­cess­ful mil­i­tary men had spouses. Answer: NO! Get over your­self.
      On another note, any­thing that is aquired dur­ing the course of a mar­riage is mar­i­tal prop­erty. The split must be equi­table. Unless you agree on the split, the judge will decide. Live with it, deal with it, and get over it.

  19. A com­mon ocur­rence within the mil­i­tary com­mu­nity is the phe­nom­ena of active duty mil­i­tary mem­bers seek­ing spouses for the pur­pose of gain­ing addi­tional com­pen­sa­tion and priv­iledges such as BAQ and off base hous­ing approval. These advan­tages improve the liv­ing con­di­tions of the mem­ber and cre­ate a per­cep­tion of addi­tional income. It is com­mon knowl­edge that many enlis­tees con­tact sources and arrange mar­riages in for­eign coun­tries through the par­ents or rel­a­tives of a poten­tial spouse’s fam­liy. These women are sub­jected through cul­tural tra­di­tions, reli­gious belief, and some times law to marry the per­son cho­sen by the rel­a­tive. Some mil­i­tary mem­bers will give a sum of money to the rel­a­tive for the right to marry the daugh­ter. These women are often­times dis­carded through divorce or aban­don­ment when the mil­i­tary mem­ber no longer needs the advan­tages these mar­riages allowed them to have. The women are left with no sup­port, chil­dren, and usu­ally do not speak Eng­lish and have no knowl­edge of their rights through the DoD or the courts. I have worked with these women to assist them in get­ting what they deserve.

    1. Hi Lynn are you near the VA area i would truly appre­ci­ate if you con­tact me.. i may need your help & guidance…

  20. Hire a lawyer. Know your rights, and fight for them. Do not lis­ten to any­one who says that you are not enti­tled to your share of the retire­ment pay. My hus­band and I mar­ried young and had four beau­ti­ful daugh­ters. He enlisted at age 20, went to night school and got a degree, and grad­u­ally become an offi­cer. I gave up col­lege after get­ting a 2-year degree to take care of our chil­dren, which included autis­tic twins. He went on to become a Major. One year after our divorce, he died from an alco­hol induced acci­dent. He left life insur­ance only in our daugh­ters name (divorce decree made him do this) and if it were not for my share of the retirement/annuitant pay, we would be strug­gling. The girls get SSI. Life insur­ance is in an account until they are 18. He did work for the gov­ern­ment, and deserved the retire­ment pay. HOWEVER, he did NOT ALLOW me to work, or fin­ish my degree. I was a house­wife, home­maker, and mother for 22 years. 24 HOURS a day! I now have a BA in Psy­chol­ogy and work­ing on MS in Coun­sel­ing. I will work soon.

  21. PS:
    That’s what my X of Ten years recieved , who arrived onto scene, after 14 teen years of my 25yrs of active ser­vice to our Great Coun­try!
    Despite her lack of effort, she still made out!
    Let’s address this delimma that ser­vice­men & women get short changed for!

  22. For those wives & hus­bands who’ve worked along side that active duty /reserve per­son for 20 + yrs. Should be enti­tled accu­multed bennies!

    On the other hand if that same indi­vid­ual was irre­spon­si­ble finan­cially, cheated through out said duration,should receive ” 20 Buck­ets of Dia­tribe” and the right to keep moving!

    Good Day!

  23. As a recently divorced and retired ser­vice mem­ber, I can relate to feel­ing like my ben­e­fits are being taken from me. But, when i stop and think about it, my wife stayed by my side through 23 years of mil­i­tary ser­vice. Although I deployed and endured those hard­ships, hers were much worse on the home­front. Kids, hos­pi­tals, muti­ple part time jobs, deal­ing with mov­ing by her­self, lon­li­ness to name just a few. I can hon­estly say she deserves her share of my retire­ment as it was a career we built together and endured many times together. At the same time, i dont think some spuse that didnt put in their dues deserves the same thing and I hope the courts weigh each sit­u­a­tion fairly when they decide these. For all you idiots out there that dont think your wife served too, i can promise you would never have taken her place! so quit cry­ing and just be a man about it!

    1. THANK YOU! IT IS REALLY NICE TO SEE A GENTLEMAN WHO UNDERSTANDS THE FACT THAT WE DO SERVE RIGHT ALONG WITH OUR MATES. I SURE WISH I HAD MET YOU INSTEAD OF MY EX WHO TOLD ME RECENTLY THAT HE WISHES I WOULD HURRY UP AND DIE SO HE COULD GET HIS MONEY BACK! HE RETIRED AS AN E-7 I GET ONLY $500.00 A MONTH FROM HIM, NO ID SO NO MEDICAL , NO PX/BX, NO COMMISSARY. I AM ALMOST DISABLED MY SELF. HE BEGRUDGES EVERYTHING AND WHEN WE WERE MARRIED WETHER IT WAS TRUE OR NOT THAT EVERYTHING THAT WENT WRONG WAS MY FAULT. I SURE WISH THERE WERE MORE LIKE YOUMR. BILLER! THEN MAYBE SOMEONE LIKE ME COULD FALL IN LOVE AND STAY FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE WITH A GOOD MAN WHICH SAD TO SAY THERE JUST AREN’T ENOUGH OF TO GO AROUND. I DIDN’T MARRY FOR MONEY. I MARRIED FOR LOVE AND COMPANIONSHIP. I DO NOT HAVE ANY OF THOSE NOW, NO MONEY, NO LOVE, NO COMPANIONSHIP. I WORK, BUT AM SCARED TO TRY AGAIN FOR FEAR OF BEING HURT AGAIN.

    2. You hit it spot on! :) I espe­cially like the key words “she stayed by your side through 23 yrs of MIl­tary service”

      and Some spouses that didn’t put their dues in”

    3. This to MSgt. Torn Biller
      Sir you are the only one with enough comen sence to under­stand that we weman do alot wait­ing for our hus­bands to come home and stand by them through thier whole Army careers and can not get a career of our own because of all the mov­ing that was done. So I salud you.

      Aurora

      1. Sorry woman out there, I mis­spelled woman, oh, and also their. I hope that that was it.

      2. Aurora,
        You are the only one who can­not spell basic words.

        Rec­om­men­da­tion: Dic­tio­nary or spell check!

    4. Hey Tom,

      Dont try and find another wife on here. If your ex was so great why aint you still with her? Huh? think about it folks.

  24. Remem­ber that a mar­riage is a busi­ness rela­tion­ship, too. A man and a woman are full part­ners, how­ever they choose to work it out. And, if the mar­riage dis­solves, just as a busi­ness does, it should be accord­ing fair­ness. And, yes it is fair for the wife to get half the retire­ment if it was their arrange­ment that she give birth to chil­dren and spend her year rais­ing them and mak­ing a home. And, the hus­band earned the liv­ing.
    The chil­dren of this mar­riage are his and hers 50/50, so is every­thing finan­cial 50/50. It is a fair anad just rule!!! It is a very self serv­ing atti­tude to not share every­thing financial~as in the let­ter above. SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM AND DON’T GET DIVORCED!!!! BE A BETTER SPOUSE AND YOU PROBABLY WON’T BE IN THIS SITUATION»»»»»»»»

    1. Cara in Mon­tana,
      How com­pletely igno­rant you are! My hus­band and I had no prob­lems AND I couldn’t have been a bet­ter spouse! How can you say such harm­ful words to some­one who has suf­fered such pain? If my hus­band could leave me, his chil­dren, life as he knew it (yes, we had a VERY good life) then it can hap­pen to ANYONE so beware.

      1. I have noth­ing but respect for our mil­i­tary, but all of you are sound­ing as if you have for­got­ten what mar­riage and com­mitt­ment means. Each one of you sounds so self­ish and I am ashamed of your words. God never said life was going to be with­out tri­als, heartache, pain or proverty but he loved each of you so much he gave his only son for for­give­ness of OUR SINS & so you could have a good life & choose the career path or per­son whom we thought would make us happy. Then every­one com­plains when they have to share or do some­thing for some­one else — we have no one to blame but our­selves for our poor choices. Mil­i­tary peo­ple make big impres­sions on many peo­ple, so in God’s name think before you speak. God gave his one and only son & you guys/gals are wor­ried about shar­ing money! May God have mercy on your souls! News flash, we can­not take any­thing with us when we go! Try to give thanks for all of the good years, God is prepar­ing you for a greater pur­pose & stop dwelling in self pity. Go out and help a total stranger today!

        1. God, just what the forum needs…someone who believes in fairy tales

        2. Men/women took it upon them­selves when Eve and Adam bit into the fruit from the tree of knowl­edge. Which means when hus­bands are over­seas or at home and cheat they have knowl­edge of their sin when wives cheat when their hus­bands are away they also have knowl­edge of that same sin. If one side of the other did not com­mit that sin but was truly under the impres­sion they were doing what they were sup­pose to as a mar­ried cou­ple then some­one should step up and take respon­si­bil­ity for the pain they have cost oth­ers and if they mean they get hit in the pocket book since that is the only way to get some peo­ple atten­tion than so be it.

  25. U butt she or was going threw it as well as u and maybe more because u were gone and god only knows what u did away from home so just give him or her what she in enti­tled to u ass.

  26. A lot of good dis­cus­sion on this very hot topic!

  27. She may not have been gone over­seas and fought how­ever; she did take care of the chil­dren, the house, the finances and put up with him when he came home and started bark­ing orders to her like he did the mem­bers he was in charge of. She spents months alone (often away from any of HER fam­ily) han­dling any issue that arose while he was off in some other coun­try ful­fill­ing the oblig­a­tion he took when HE chose to join the ser­vice. So YES SHE is ENTITLED!!!!!

    1. What hap­pens when it’s the other way around? She decided to stay and retire, so where do I fit at in this dis­cus­sion? We’ve been mar­ried eigh­teen years (19 shortly), and I’m receiv­ing dis­abil­ity. The mar­riage was toast a long time ago. So how does the dis­abled spouse (who hap­pens to be me) fit into this discussion?

      1. Get an attor­ney that under­stand mil­i­tary and or retire­ment etc. In your divorce you can ask for to her pay for her half of the fees

        AND any spouse that was hon­or­able to their mil­i­tary spouse, and was there every step of the way for them, took care of the home front and was there for the “fam­ily” at all cost deserves their fair share. Go to this web­site : http://​www​.DFAS​.MIL look for Gar­nish­ment sec­tion click on that then go to the How to Apply.

        There is also a sec­tion for Attor­neys regard­ing the for­mula used to cal­cu­late what per­cent­age a spouse is enti­tled to based on how long you were mar­ried to them while they were active duty.

        Have this web­site and link sug­ges­tions in hand when you talk to your attor­ney> It will help them out alot. Also it is up to the “for­mer spouse or their attor­ney” once you are divorced (and as long as your final decree says you are enti­tled to a por­tion of the retire­ment)
        to file the forms and doc­u­men­ta­tions that DFAS would need
        Go and READ it’s good infor­ma­tion there. :) good luck to you

  28. you are an idiot!! we are just as much “enti­tled ” to it. we are the ones who have to keep it all together back home.and keep the fam­ily going while they are away.we then have to deal with your moods and how you come back and try to re set­tle your­self. we deserve that and so much more.

  29. I’ve been mar­ried for 19 years to my hus­band. He is in the Nat’l Guard and cur­rently on active duty in Iraq. When he left, he said that he didn’t have to give me or any­one Power of Attor­ney. I have no idea actu­ally, but he says he makes a lit­tle over 100K. Each month he trans­fers most of his pay­check to a sav­ings acct that I do not have access to. We have three chil­dren. He leaves $4,000 a month in the check­ing acct, but spends nearly $1,000 on him­self and $2,300 of it goes towards halfs of bills. I work full time. While he’s deployed, I dropped my med­ical insur­ance to save money each month. We’re on Tri­care Prime at no cost to him. Oddly enough he was very angry to find that I dropped it. He recently called to say that every penny he makes is all HIS. All I’ve ever done was take care of the kids and our house. I’m extremely hon­est, a great mom, and ded­i­cated wife. Any idea on why he’s made I tem­porar­ily dropped my insur­ance? I feel divorce is in the air. How should I go about pro­tect­ing myself and the kids?

    1. You have got to be kid­ding, right? If his action’s haven’t con­vinced you that yes, divorce is on his mind, what will it take? My inten­tion is not to be harsh but to get you to wake up and start plan­ning for it. Your hus­band knows exactly what’s going to hap­pen and he’s prepar­ing, it’s so evi­dent! Best of luck!

    2. I noticed you posted awhile ago. Your story is my story to the tee. How­ever, I’m the hus­band fol­low­ing the mil­i­tary wife. She decided to divorce me after 18 years. She served me with papers last week. I had a lawyer in my pocket because I knew it was gonna drop. But I was hop­ing for at least 20 and med­ical. She can keep her retire­ment. I kinda got sus­pi­cious about a year ago when she, who makes a lit­tle over 100 a year, took com­plete con­trol of all accounts and started me with an allowance. I’ve taken care of every­thing for over 22 years. Well before we mar­ried. Now I was given about 4000 in check­ing. I used it all for bills. Some for dog food. Some for me. Who knows what hap­pened to the rest of her pay? I started call­ing attor­neys a few months into the account change. I called hun­dreds of attor­neys. I just felt some­thing was not right. You see, I just wasn’t cool any­more. Too many other real cool guys at the par­ties I was once invited to. You just can’t be dumb. The day she served me with papers. BTW, we also went to coun­sel­ing. I called the attor­ney who I already used a free 1 hour con­sul­ta­tion. She knew my case. I didn’t even open the enve­lope. My attor­ney looked at it. I said I trust you. I gave her my moms credit card. Trust me. If you hire the right attor­ney. It’s worth all the wasted hours of coun­sel­ing. How­ever, that’s how I feel now. I’m still in shock.
      How has it worked for you? Any progress?

  30. You fail to real­ize that spouses go wher­ever the mil­i­tary mem­ber is assigned. I was mar­ried for 18 years and fol­lowed his career. I was never able to estab­lish a 20 year retire­ment because my life was his career. As far as the spouse being enti­tled to their retire­ment is because we devoted our lives in help­ing our spouses to be suc­cess­ful with the mil­i­tary. We raised their chil­dren when they were gone as you say “fight­ing for our coun­try”. When you marry a mil­i­tary mem­ber you still are expected to com­ply to a code of ethics when mar­ried to a mil­i­tary mem­ber. You still fol­low reg­u­la­tions espe­cially when liv­ing on base. Rules do apply to you and as it was always told to me, what­ever your spouse does reflects who you are as a mil­i­tary mem­ber. This is why we deserve to receive retire­ment just as much as our spouse does. From my per­spec­tive, I divorced because of infi­delity and abuse. My per­spec­tive is I earned that right to receive that ben­e­fit for every time he hit me. Nobody goes into a mar­riage want­ing a divorce. It hap­pens and peo­ple have to sur­vive espe­cially if all you knew was being a mil­i­tary wife. I devoted my life to my coun­try and never once did I com­plain when we moved. It unfor­tu­nate that peo­ple have to say that receiv­ing a ben­e­fit is greed. I feel that it’s noth­ing but bit­ter­ness and anger about the divorce. I never signed up to be abused and cheated on. That was his choice. If those things never hap­pened then I would still be mar­ried. I was a good mil­i­tary wife, I never did any­thing to show any kind of neg­a­tiv­ity towards the mil­i­tary. I respected the mil­i­tary and what they rep­re­sent. Is it fair that I’m 40 now and two kids and noth­ing to show for it. I think not…

  31. Bull­crap. The spouse doesn’t make nearly the amounts of sac­ri­fice that the ser­vice mem­ber makes. I do believe if there are chil­dren still in the pic­ture then yes money should be given for the care of them, but no spouse has gone through the same hard­ships. You want to try leav­ing for a year and a half to fight in some other coun­try where peo­ple don’t appre­ci­ate and respect what you do. Then come home and have your own child cry when you hold them because they don’t know who you are through no fault of your own besides you wanted to serve your coun­try. Absolute bs. Also when I was deployed I saw many more let­ters received from a wife cheat­ing back home then I saw my fel­low sol­diers cheat­ing, and if they did man­age to find the chance to cheat can’t say I blame them as much see­ing as how there’s a good chance the next day they could die.

    1. a sol­dier could die tomor­row is no waya way to dis­miss cheet­ing on his fam­ily, it was his or her choice to marry that cheet­ing was ok because he or she could die is bs any sol­dier knows what is expected of them. they mar­ried they took on till death do we part. is the other per­son in the mar­riage who has to have the same com­mit­ment till death and till death does not give any one a right to have sex and betry the trust they gave once mar­ried. any thing else to explain cheat­ing is bs cheat­ing is bs.

  32. Im going through a divorce right now and my wife claims she is OWED her dues. REALLY? When after 7yrs, she decides to aban­don me and not go with me to my next duty sta­tion and she thinks she is enti­tled to my retire­ment? Ive been pro­vid­ing for her and my daugh­ter since the sep­a­ra­tion AND also another man liv­ing in MY house. So I ask if you if I pay the house note, car note, insurance/property taxes AND send 400 per month for my daugh­ter, what sac­ri­fices is she mak­ing? I think there are dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions in which the spouse does deserve the retire­ment BUT this is NOT one of them. Feel free to chime in. IT1 Gilliam,USN, 17 1/2yrs and counting.

    1. I agree, Harry, every sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent. Sounds like tough cir­cum­stances. Mil­i­tary retire­ment is con­sid­ered mar­i­tal prop­erty, but that does NOT mean she will get any of it. Good luck to you and thank you for your service.

    2. been there done that is this the way it is. if so after just 7yrs then no she should not be covered.

  33. Ben­e­fits for retire­ment pay are man­dated. I agree with them. The for­mula is not 50/50, it is a per­cent­age of that 50% based upon how many years mar­ried and how many years served. I know many spouses who have lost their active duty mem­ber through var­i­ous means over which they had no no con­trol. As an active duty spouse who has sac­ri­ficed for the last 18 years and is being put aside I can see both sides.

  34. Yes, the active duty mem­ber earned the retire­ment though their work. BUT, and this is a big but that seems to be the con­tention, is that the spouse earned some of that too. I am for­tu­nate that my hus­band sup­ported most of the deci­sions I made about work and school. I worked full time until we had chil­dren (mutual deci­sion). For 18 years I have moved with him 7 times to dif­fer­ent states through 10 dif­fer­ent positions/jobs, endured deploy­ments, went to func­tions for his career, towed the line, and put all of my ambi­tions on hold. His sched­ule did not allow for any con­ti­nu­ity so I could have a reg­u­lar job and count on him being home when he said he would be. In turn, I never asked for any­thing, and per­haps that is part of the problem.

  35. Three years ago HE DECIDED I should go back to school and earn a Bachelor’s. I will­ingly went, but stu­dent loans were nec­es­sary for me to com­plete this. Now that he has decided he no longer wants to be mar­ried I am left with the prospect of hav­ing to sup­port myself and two tween chil­dren. Cost of liv­ing where we are is VERY expen­sive. He is insis­tent that we stay in our dis­trict. He is also insis­tent that we share full joint custody.

  36. We do have sub­stan­tial debt, a good por­tion of which are my stu­dent loans. How­ever, he is insis­tent that I take the stu­dent loans because they were for my col­lege, yet it was his idea and he insisted on me attend­ing. The edu­ca­tion, I feel, was to assuage his guilt of leav­ing, and no, he did not allow me to use his GI bill for any of that edu­ca­tion. He insisted we save it for the chil­dren and I went along with that. He’s not using it — he has 3 dif­fer­ent degrees (BA, JD, and LLM). Now, whose respon­si­bil­ity are those loans? Joint, His, Mine? Debt should be split in the same per­cent­age of income when accum­mu­lated as a joint deci­sion. His deci­sion, his debt? To be fair, I am will­ing to pay a por­tion, but not all. His earn­ing poten­tial is quite lit­er­ally 10X mine. I’m try­ing to look at this prac­ti­cally, and not emotionally.

  37. Accord­ing to some in this forum, I would be enti­tled to noth­ing, and accord­ing to yet oth­ers I am enti­tled to every­thing. There is a mid­dle ground, and it is that mid­dle ground I am seek­ing. The money is the money, there are big­ger issues to be con­cerned with other than who gets the couch and who gets the china.

    My ques­tion is this. How do I keep my med­ical and base priv­i­leges? It was if you were mar­ried for 15 years of his active/retired ser­vice that you auto­mat­i­cally were able to keep these ben­e­fits. I have been unable to secure full time employ­ment in my field for var­i­ous rea­sons (extremely com­pet­i­tive where we are and lack of “con­ti­nu­ity” of employ­ment on my part — what a sur­prise huh?) and am forced to sub­sti­tute teach until some­thing opens up. This does NOT come with benefits.

    I have med­ical con­di­tions that require care. One child has a spe­cial and very expen­sive med­ical need. While her med­ical will be cov­ered as a depen­dent, will mine? I am look­ing for the statute, the actual writ­ten rule, gov­ern­ing mil­i­tary ben­e­fits to spouses, not just the retire­ment thing, but the other stuff we have become so reliant on…the med­ical, the com­mis­sary, the gym, the PX.

    Any sug­ges­tions?

    1. Jag­wife: My first rec­om­men­da­tion to you is to retain a lawyer famil­iar with mil­i­tary ben­e­fits. There is no “man­date,” as one com­ment stated, regard­ing split­ting mil­i­tary retire­ment. It is, how­ever, con­sid­ered mar­i­tal prop­erty and may be split. You may also want to con­sider the Sur­vivor Ben­e­fit Plan (SBP) to pro­tect that income should your soon-to-be ex pre­de­cease you. Also, since you have young kids, make sure you are the ben­e­fi­ciary of a life pol­icy suf­fi­cient to help raise the kids in a worst case sce­nario. You will not be enti­tled to Tri­care or other mil­i­tary priv­i­leges as your mariage does not meet the require­ments of the 20–20-20 rule. There is a lot writ­ten inthis col­umn about mil­i­tary divorce. Arm your­self with as much info as pos­si­ble! Good luck as you nav­i­gate this new chap­ter of your life. Read more about the 20–20-20 rule here: http://​per​sonal​-finance​.mil​i​tary​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​0​4​/​2​0​2​0​2​0​-​d​e​f​ine

  38. Accord­ing to some in this forum, I would be enti­tled to noth­ing, and accord­ing to yet oth­ers I am enti­tled to every­thing. There is a mid­dle ground, and it is that mid­dle ground I am seek­ing. The money is the money, there are big­ger issues to be con­cerned with other than who gets the couch and who gets the china.

    My ques­tion is this. How do I keep my med­ical and base priv­i­leges? It was if you were mar­ried for 15 years of his active/retired ser­vice that you auto­mat­i­cally were able to keep these ben­e­fits. I have been unable to secure full time employ­ment in my field for var­i­ous rea­sons (extremely com­pet­i­tive where we are and lack of “con­ti­nu­ity” of employ­ment on my part — what a sur­prise huh?) and am forced to sub­sti­tute teach until some­thing opens up. This does NOT come with benefits.

    I have med­ical con­di­tions that require care. One child has a spe­cial and very expen­sive med­ical need. While her med­ical will be cov­ered as a depen­dent, will mine? I am look­ing for the statute, the actual writ­ten rule, gov­ern­ing mil­i­tary ben­e­fits to spouses, not just the retire­ment thing, but the other stuff we have become so reliant on…the med­ical, the com­mis­sary, the gym, the PX.

    Any sug­ges­tions?

    1. If you are divorced and you weren’t mar­ried to him for 20 years with all of those 20 years over­lap­ping his mil­i­tary ser­vice you will NOT be enti­tled to med­ical cov­er­age. I think you can pur­chase one year (like COBRA) through Tri­care but it is nor­mally very expen­sive. The child, if it is the ser­vice­mem­bers, will be cov­ered. The other stuff is also depen­dent on how many years you were mar­ried and the overlap.

    2. JAGWIFE; you must be related to my ex huband’s first wife. We divorced after 22 years of mar­riage and I do get a part of his retire­ment pay under the state laws in the state we live in. His 1st ex wife thinks she should get some­thing even though they were only mar­ried for 9 years and divorced in 1980. I did not get to keep my med­ical because of the way the laws are writ­ten for that area but it was ok, I was able to get med­ical through my employer. But I knew COBRA was there but it was $$$$$. Being mar­ried to your hus­band for only 3 years, you get noth­ing from the mil­i­tary. You may be able to get spou­sial sup­port but you would need to check the state you are in. Good luck.

  39. Oh boo hoo JagWife…he pro­moted you to bet­ter your­self through get­ting an edu­ca­tion so that way you would have a means of sup­port­ing yourself…at least he didn’t leave you on the street with noth­ing. You should be thank­ful instead of whin­ing about loans that you would have taken out when your kids went to col­lege any­way if you had used his GI Bill. I had 100k in stu­dent loans for my edu­ca­tion and guess what?!?! I paid them all off by myself, never once asked my hus­band for a dime and in fact refused his repeated offers to assist. Only a civil­ian lawyer and judge will be able to decide if the debt should be split so I’d hire a dang good lawyer.

  40. Stay­ing home rais­ing kids and keep­ing the house­hold run­ning IS serv­ing the coun­try and is a full time job. Have you never heard this say­ing before:
    “the hard­est job in the milil­tary is being the spouse of a ser­vice mem­ber.“
    We have to deal with all sorts of issues while you are gone and when you come home. Be real, WE stay at home moms ARE serv­ing our county AND sac­ri­fic­ing as much as you are. Wake up to reality!!

  41. I have been to iraq and fought for our coun­try and I decided to get out to take care of my hus­band dur­ing his years left in the mil­tary which was a mutual agree­ment so yes I believe that I deserve it just as much as he does

  42. Is there a time limit as to when the ex-wife has to apply for her 14% of my retire­ment pay once I start receiv­ing my retire­ment? In other words, is there a time frame for ex spouses to apply and/or oth­er­wise lose their por­tion as awarded in the divorce”

  43. Becky I so agree with you about for­mer spouse enti­tle­ments, I am mar­ried to a retired viet­nam vet whose ex– wife is get­ting 52% of his pen­sion plus tri-care. Now isn’t that the shits. He has a total of 5 years com­bat time, risked his life the whole time, got shot, blowen out of truck and ended up with shrap­nal on his face, and SHE ben­e­fits. I’m only com­plain­ing because she worked retires got her ben­e­fits and she didn’t hand over any of her retire­ment to him. I get my edu­ca­tion ben­e­fits through him. But 52 % for 30 yrs of mar­riage plus when he got paid monthly she also got her share, what a system!

  44. I’m pre-vet med. I’ve spent many years away from my fam­ily. I took care of every­thing while, my spouse was gone. I’ve never asked the mil­i­tary for any­thing such as, help after, my house flooded in FL or the time my water heater went out, and I replaced it myself while going to school, and tak­ing care of a child that we made together. The last 13 years.. I’ve felt with him beat­ing me, threat­ing me, and my chil­dren. He was recently, arrested again for domes­tic vio­lence, child endangerment,and false impris­on­ment. For the 3rd time. CPS has deemed him an unfit father. Also, I have a clus­ter of blood clots on my lungs, and they are not dis­solv­ing. He was told by more than one Dr. While, I was in the hos­pi­tal for a week that my blood pres­sure too high for my 5’1 100lb. Body, and that I must remain calm at all times. How­ever, he really could care less about me or his chil­dren, and Ive been the one working/going to schoool, and tak­ing care of the house while he signs up for deploy­ments. How­ever, my kids,and I deserve noth­ing, but stress and violence?

    1. yOU ARE A SLFISH PERSON. tHE WIFE SACRIFICES ALOT AS WELL.__________

  45. Stay mar­ried and you don’t have to worry about it.…

  46. I find that this is typ­i­cal behav­ior, while their spouse is at home tak­ing care of the chil­dren and house­hold. I was mar­ried for almost 3 years and was away from my fam­ily and friends the entire time. I had a career, that I made much more than my ex. I was alone almost every sin­gle hol­i­day. My ex was deployed 3 times dur­ing our short mar­riage. So for every­one think­ing that the spouse is not enti­tled to any­thing is com­pletely wrong. How would you like to sit at home wait­ing for your hus­band (or wife) to return, to find out that he got drunk every night and was cheat­ing on you? How would you like to know that when you were sac­ri­fic­ing your dreams and being near your fam­ily, for a man that is sup­posed to have honor and integrity? I think that many mil­i­tary mem­bers take their fam­ily for granted and think that they can treat them poorly. But maybe they should think about who is tak­ing care of them and who is sac­ri­fic­ing as well. Yes, I under­stand that you are at war, but you are also out par­ty­ing and drink­ing when­ever you pos­si­bly can, in many cases.

    1. Wow…just wow.…3 years…you bet­ter believe you shouldn’t be enti­tled to any­thing. Boo hoo..you were away from your fam­ily and friends…so was he. Heck, if you were a civil­ian and got offered a job in another city you’d also be away from fam­ily and friends. Oh and you were away for the hol­i­days, well you had the option at least of going home (whether you were too broke and or lazy to get a job is a dif­fer­ent story) your spouse didn’t have that option. My hus­band and I have done 48 months of deploy­ment dur­ing our mar­riage, I’ve sat alone for EVERY hol­i­day birth­day etc. Do I let it get me down, no, I make the best of the sit­u­a­tion and vol­un­teer or invite peo­ple over.

      I don’t for ONE SECOND try to trick myself into the delu­sion that I have had it harder while he was gone. I’m not get­ting shot at, I’m not deal­ing with 18 plus hour work­days with no down time, I’m not in 100 plus degree heat. Instead I am in my tem­per­a­ture con­trolled house, rais­ing my child and work­ing my full time job. Hell that’s EASY com­pared to what my hus­band does. And what war zone was yours in that he could party and drink all night, never one my hus­band has been in.

      1. Oh, and how do you know your spouse is not par­ty­ing and drink­ing every night? He may tell you he’s not, but uh do you really know?

        1. Because he’s home/out with me, or in a war zone where it’s not allowed. Oh and there is also this funny thing called trust­ing each other. We’ve done 48 months deploy­ment in 10 years of ser­vice (not includ­ing train­ing, schools, and fluff assign­ments like Kuwait). The bulk of that in the past 5 years.

          3 years of mar­riage the mil­i­tary does NOT owe you any­thing nor are there any ben­e­fits so get your facts straight. Most judges won’t even award alimony for that short of a marriage.

          Also, you COULD have gone home, there are these mag­i­cal things called air­planes and trains. If you chose not to go home, that is your OWN fault, not your ex’s. You mar­ried him know­ing you would be mov­ing, know­ing you’d be away from fam­ily and friends. If you didn’t like it, you shouldn’t have got­ten mar­ried, plain and sim­ple. Don’t blame it on your ex and expect to milk him dry, point the fin­ger at your­self for that one and take respon­si­bil­ity for your actions.

          1. Oh and in the past 3ish years we’ve done 27 months of deployment

          2. Hon­estly, there is no point to this con­ver­sa­tion anymore.

            1. I could NOT go home due to my career. It’s called hav­ing to work.

            2. I did not ask my ex for any­thing in the divorce, other than to sign the papers. The point of my post was that peo­ple are enti­tled to things. I did not need any­thing, nor did I want any­thing to do with the mil­i­tary or my ex. So you can stop point­ing fingers.

            3. If you feel that you have done every­thing cor­rectly and you are the per­fect spouse, why the hell are you on this site critiz­ing every­one else?

          3. 4. I didn’t marry my hus­band because he was in the mil­i­tary. I didn’t not marry him because he was in the mil­i­tary either. I knew it would be a dif­fi­cult lifestyle and mar­ried him because I loved him for him, not for his career. I divorced him not because of the mil­i­tary either, because he had an affair. That can hap­pen whether you are in the mil­i­tary or not.

            5. Yes a rela­tion­ship is based on trust, one thing I did not have any­more.. hence the divorce. My point is you can trust some­one to death and then in a split sec­ond that is bro­ken. Peo­ple try to get away with things. That is all I was discussing.

          4. 6. Enjoy your rela­tion­ship and get off the site and quite critiz­ing oth­ers. Some peo­ple are not in the same posi­tion that I am in to get up and leave and con­tinue my suc­cess. Or what seems to be the same suc­cess you have. If you had to it seems you could get divorced and be well off liv­ing on your own. Unfor­tu­nately some peo­ple are not able to do that for var­i­ous rea­sons. Some peo­ple need the sup­port of oth­ers, hence the rea­son peo­ple post on this site. But belit­tling and degrad­ing peo­ple is not help­ful. Why don’t you try to offer some advice, or con­struc­tive feed­back to oth­ers instead of try­ing to ‘attack’ peo­ples posts.

  47. I beleive that all mil­i­tary mem­bers, no mat­ter what rank you are, are rep­re­sent­ing our coun­try are sup­posed to uphold honor, char­ac­ter, and integrity. Rank does not mat­ter when it comes to a spouse hav­ing to sar­i­fice while their spouse is out fight­ing a war. Spouses left behind typ­i­cally have a much harder time. They are the ones being left to take care of their fam­ily. They are the ones who are typ­i­cally away from their fam­ily and friends, while their hus­band or wife is off fight­ing, but are still sur­rounded by their friends. From my expe­ri­ence, my now ex hus­band, chose to go out and have the time of his life while he was out to sea.

  48. Also, mil­i­tary ben­e­fits do have many perks, but it is very sim­i­lar to hav­ing one civil­ian work­ing spouse and one stay at home par­ent. Peo­ple are enti­tled to the sac­ri­fices made. You’re work­ing civil­ian spouse could have your fam­ily move 8 times within 5 years and you have to make sac­ri­fices due to a civil­ian job. So for the ones that are com­plain­ing about hav­ing to give up your ben­e­fits or retire­ment, that is life. You chose to get mar­ried, regard­less if it was so you could have extra hous­ing money, or if you actu­ally loved the per­son. That was YOUR deci­sion and deci­sions have consequences.

    1. The mil­i­tary mem­ber also chose to get mar­ried, and with that comes respon­si­bil­i­ties, also. Exec­u­tives, many whom work long hard hours, have to share their pen­sions these days. Just because a guy/gal was, or is, in the mil­i­tary, doesn’t mean they have served in a war or even spent long days, nights, weeks, or months, away from home. Mil­i­tary ser­vice, until Desert Storm, Shield, and Iraq, was vol­un­tary also.

    2. As a soon to be ex navy hus­band, I’ve been shunned from both direc­tions for even atten­tion to ask for some­thing after 18 years of mar­riage. I won­der if I’ll get any­thing? I never have fit in with the offi­cers wives asso­ci­a­tion. Never a big part of any of the base wife asso­ci­a­tions. Never was too pop­u­lar with the wives at all when their hus­bands went on deploy­ment. I won­der if mil­i­tary hus­bands get the short end of the stick in divorce on average?

  49. how can I check to see if my x wife has remar­ried? she has been draw­ing half of my retire­ment for 20 years and i recently was advised by a old friend that she remar­ried. This means she would not be enti­tled to draw it any more. I sure could user the money.

    1. If it’s in your divorce decree that she gets 50 per­cent of your retired pay then she gets it until you die (and if she’s on SBP after you die) REGARDLESS of if she remar­ries. How’s that for a giant mid­dle fin­ger to vets.

        1. Exactly how is it inac­cu­rate. Accord­ing to that site, if SBP was required in the decree it can’t be con­verted to cur­rent spouse etc unless the issuance was vol­un­tary or the for­mer spouse agrees to it in writ­ing. Sbp will be sus­pended if she remar­ries before 55…but retire­ment pay will not be.

  50. I do believe that you would be enti­tled to at least a por­tion. Con­trary to what Becki said, who obvi­ously did not use a brain before she spoke, even if you are not the one actively in the mil­i­tary, you DO work. You work to keep the home life, and you may even work out­side the home. Which serves the per­son serv­ing the coun­try. Your spouce could not have served as well if he did not have you stand­ing behind him and sup­port­ing him. And if, like me, you are phys­i­cally unable to take a job due to health rea­sons, the fact that you stood behind him for all of those years should enti­tle you to something.

  51. I was mar­ried to my hus­band for almost his entire mil­i­tary life. He was a pilot for 20 years until he got out and went to the air­lines. When we divorced, he pur­posely filed before 20 years. So tech­ni­cally I was with him for 19 years and 9 months, hence, I can’t get BX/PX ben­e­fits or health insur­ance. My ques­tion is: we have not spo­ken in over 15 years now as it was a ter­ri­ble divorce. He is approach­ing 60 in 3 months. I was told I am eli­gi­ble for his retire­ment pay also. How do I file to get “my share” ? The divorce papers never broke any­thing down but just stated I was enti­tled to his mil­i­tary pay. What do I have to do????

    1. If the word­ing in your decree doesn’t spec­ify a por­tion of mil­i­tary RETIREMENT then you more than likely aren’t enti­tled to any of it unless you some­how get him to sign a clar­i­fy­ing order (doubt­ful by what you’ve said). Go to a lawyer and have him review the wording.

  52. For­mer spouses are more than enti­tled to the Mil­i­tary Mem­bers Retire­ment Pay. Who do you think held down the fort while they were out fight­ing? Who do you think paid the bills, took care of the kids and the house­hold? This is no easy job. I am a for­mer spouse of an offi­cer and we were mar­ried for over 20 years. I went through giv­ing birth to two chil­dren on my own and tak­ing care of them for months while he was in the feild. Yes, I went though a lot as a for­mer spouse, to include attend­ing all hale and fair­wells, tak­ing care of enlisted wives while their hus­bands were gone. You bet­ter believe I deserve every penny of that retirment.

  53. So is there any­thing I can do to make sure that the back pay my spouse was receiv­ing that is sup­posed to come to me included in our divorce?

  54. Thank you for the infor­ma­tion on this touchie sub­ject, I specif­i­cally wanted to know about med­ical ben­e­fits after divorce. I think any per­son who serves in the mil­i­tary may think that their spouse is not enti­tled to these ben­e­fits (retire­ment ben­e­fit and med­ical) but thank good­ness they are. Most women/men are very young when start­ing out in the mil­i­tary and do not know what it takes to be a mil­i­tary spouse. It they endure the length of ser­vice with mil­i­tary per­son they have gone thru a lot that a nor­mal fam­ily does not go thru. Mov­ing, new schools, new friends, new job, mil­i­tary per­son gone for months on deploy­ment, being mother and father while spouse is gone, keep­ing house and fam­ily in order. Thank good­ness I was a very out­go­ing per­son I may not have sur­vived the changes. Any­where my hus­band went I was very sup­port­ive and looked for­ward to the new expe­ri­ence. Now after 35 years of mar­riage my hus­band is not happy in our mar­riage. I will will­ingly accept what the law says I am enti­tled to.

    1. you are only enti­tled to med­ical if you were mar­ried over 20 years (check) and ALL of those 20 years he was active duty. And you loose all med­ical ben­e­fits for­ever if you remarry

  55. i was mar­ried to a ser­vice mem­ber for 26 years. We divorce 10 yrs ago and I am cur­rently receiv­ing 50% of his retire­ment. I am 58 and he is 64…my questions.…do I keep the­ses ben­e­fits for the rest of my life,even if he should die before me, some peo­ple tell me yes and oth­ers no. Also if this should occur before either on of us turns 65, do I still get his SS?

    1. SS GO TALK TO THE LOCAL OFFICE OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND THEY CAN EXPLAIN IT ALL. AS FOR THE 50% OF HIS RETIREMENT , IT DIES WHEN HE DOES. IF YOU ARE ON HIS SBP AS HIS BENIFICIARY YOU WILL CONTINUE TO GET SOME MONEY FROM THE MILITARY, IF NOT THAT IS ALL THERE IS. AS FAR AS I KNOW.

  56. I have only been mar­ried to my sopuse for one year and I work also how­ever since we have relo­cated I am mak­ing less money than I pre­vi­ously was and I have advised him that I can no longer con­tinue to pay all the house­hold bills like before due to my income and I am strug­gling and I am frus­trated because he will not give and says that he pays the rent and buys gro­ceries and he will not do more mind you I am pay­ing electricity/water, cable, day­care and my own per­sonal bills I am so stressed and frus­trated and I want to leave because I feel I would rather strug­gle by myself then with him. My hus­band is an E5 in the navy and recruit­ing and when it comes to money he always says he dosent have it but he can help other fam­ily mem­bers if they need it but Im his wife. If we do seper­ate will I get any assis­tance from the mil­i­tary, I know if we divorce I will not get any­thing but child sup­port and part of me wants to make it work but I am truly tired what are my options on get­ting assistance?

    1. After only one year of mar­riage you won’t get a thing from the mil­i­tary or from him save for chlid sup­port (and only if the child is his). All divorce and child sup­port cases are civil so you will need to hire a civil­ian lawyer. Hon­estly you should go to coun­sel­ing and find out why he doesn’t want to do joint bank accounts and joint deci­sion making.

    2. Sweet­heart, try not to stress but lift your­self up and get a han­dle on mat­ters. Make an appt for Jag and find out exactly what your enti­tle­ments are. Best of luck to you.

  57. Edu­cate your­self by read­ing the law.

  58. Hey now, what is fair if x spouse remar­ries and the new wife of only a year gets death ben­e­fits of over $1,100 a month. I was mar­ried to this viet­nam vet­eran for over 37 years and suf­fered along with his con­di­tion, as well as our kids. An that old stink­ing LAW that gives the new spouses all the funds. How is that fair and what OLD POLITIANS wrote that. Thats what needs to change .

    1. I do ques­tion your the­ory in how you are owed that money? If you wanted it why didn’t you stay with him? Not to be con­trite, but why stay 37 years and not the remain­der 1, 2, 10 yrs or so (what­ever is his life expectancy)?

      Isn’t divorce sup­posed to be a clean break? Why do you want money from some­one you could not stand enough to stay with? From an out­siders view it seems like a sim­ple case of jeal­ousy of the new spouse.

  59. I feel that I am enti­tled, because I did sac­ri­fice a great deal while I was mar­ried to my hus­band. Not exclud­ing adul­tery, emo­tional abuse and rais­ing three chil­dren by myself. If I treated my spouse the way that I was treated I would feel that he desired half of my retire­ment and it would not bother me a bit.

  60. I’d been mar­ried for 20 years to retired mil­i­tary. we were mar­ried for for over 12 years of his mil­i­tary career(i was ad mil­i­tary when i met him). he was ver­bally abu­sive and i decided i could no longer stay in that type of rela­tion­ship. my ques­tion is.…
    i’ve been told that i am eli­gi­ble for 1/2 of his retire­ment ben­e­fits? how does that work? from date i filed? or date divorce is final?
    court awarded me an amount he was to pay until set­tled of which he now owes over 12,000 because he hasn’t paid on reg­u­lar basis. in the mean­time, i am respon­si­ble for the home and car notes. i have not received any­thing from his since octo­ber. what should i do?
    j

  61. All of this is ridicu­lous. When you stand the mid-watch, 3 feet from test depth, God knows where and nobody is going to find you; or when you drive down a road filled with garbage look­ing for piece of garbage that is going to kill you; or when you try to land the worlds most advance air­planes in the world on a mov­ing plat­form, in the rain, at night; or when your stand­ing in a ditch with a weapon look­ing for peo­ple to kill; or when you go to a dis­as­ter area and pick up dead peo­ple and have to sleep and dream about what you saw and smelled then you can be enti­tled to my retire­ment. I am going through a divorce just so every­one knows 10 years of con­tin­u­ous mar­riage while on active duty is the min­i­mum for your spouse to “EARN” there retire­ment. I’m just going to throw this out there but if your a spouse and wait­ing for the 10 year mark at least tell your spouse thats what your doing for God’s Sake, don’t sur­prise him while he’s on deploy­ment or fight­ing a War at least have the decency to wait until he comes home, it sucks enough but get­ting a “Dear John Letter/text/email/FB post/Call is about the worse pos­si­ble thing one human being can do to another, in fact I HOPE there is a spe­cial place in hell for peo­ple that would do that.

    1. I got the face­book IM the other day…I agree with you com­pletely. How­ever, in my case it was my hus­band leav­ing me and my daugh­ter. My hus­band who started cheat­ing the minute he got to Korea. I was home, preg­nant, faith­ful and wait­ing for two years. Now he plans to send $350 a month and go on with his drink­ing and whor­ing while I raise his baby alone. Did he earn the right to behave in such a way by merit of his ser­vice, or is he going to be sit­ting with the “Dear John” ladies in this spe­cial hell?

  62. This seems to be the com­ments board for bit­ter, greedy, angry ex-wives of ser­vice­men. All of the ex-wives falsely claim credit for hav­ing worked harder than their mil­i­tary spouses and to DESERVE half of his mil­i­tary pen­sion. BULL! They got their half of his pay and more when he paid ALL of the expenses dur­ing the mar­riage, a lit­tle fact that they all failed to men­tion. The wives of coal min­ers know bet­ter than to claim that they worked harder than their hus­bands, so should mil­i­tary wives. Are all of the greedy exes will­ing to give the retired sol­dier half of the house that he paid for? Half of all their belong­ings? Half of the chil­dren? Of course not, these greedy women want it all and the divorce courts give it to them with a rib­bon on top. I’ve seen some of these “sob sis­ters” at the local clubs, mak­ing them­selves avail­able while their hus­band is sit­ting in a fox­hole thou­sands of miles from home try­ing to eat a frozen MRE. Cry me a river.

    1. I totally agree…this com­ing from a for­mer Marine wife and a cur­rent Army wife. I know, it doesn’t make sense but don’t include me into that “cat­e­gory”. I nei­ther asked or accepted ANY por­tion of my ex’s Retire­ment, I didn’t wear the uni­form nor took that oath. Hell, we divorced 6 yrs ago and have not taken him to court to increase child sup­port, nor will I. My husband’s ex took him to court to get his Reen­list­ment bonus & Retire­ment while he was in Iraq.…..and the Judge granted her request!! Aint that some CRAP!!!

  63. Split­ting of retirement/pensions as part of a divorce is not unique to mil­i­tary fam­i­lies. My spouse has as many ‘rights’ to my civil­ian pen­sion plan and 401k as I have to their mil­i­tary retire­ment ben­e­fits. Divorce splits all assets, retire­ment accounts and pen­sion plans included.

  64. I am an ex-spouse of mil­i­tary mem­ber. Can I renew my mil­i­tary iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card??

    1. not unless you were mar­ried 15 years, and all 15 of those he was in the mil­i­tary ser­vice (20 years for med­ical cov­er­age). Once divorced you for­feit all mil­i­tary priv­i­leges if there was under 15 years of over­lap­ping service.

  65. What if you was receiv­ing your retire­ment pay before you even got mar­ried? Is she enti­tled to any of it? She is still in the mil­i­tary active duty. Am enti­tled to a por­tion of hers after 3 years of marriage?

  66. Hey you fuck­ing bitch, think about what you’re say­ing. Were you ever away fight­ing? What about this, what if the mil­i­tary guy yo were mar­ried too was in other coun­tries, fuck­ing around, get­ting std’s, not even fight­ing, not even close to a war zone, in war times, just fuck­ing around, while you were at home, tak­ing care of the kids, doing all the dirty work. What then you fuck­ing cunt. You’re just like the rest of them. Mar­ried to a mil­i­tary guy, who just went thru a divorce, and you believe all the sto­ries about how is ex-wife is crazy, and how he had noth­ing to do with it.

  67. It’s because pen­sions are con­sid­ered com­mu­nity prop­erty in most states, as is EVERYTHING ELSE either of you earn dur­ing your mar­riage. If you were mar­ried to me and sat on your ass all day or worked at McDonald’s while I socked away money in a 401k at my pro­fes­sional job, guess what you’d be enti­tled to when we divorced? That’s right — HALF of my 401k.

    So get over your­self and check the law before you go off on a rant.

    and p.s. Any­body who put up with you for 10 years would have earned his share of your pension.

  68. I am a retired Marine whom never got mar­ried but my father spent 24yrs in the USN and was mar­ried before he went in and divored sev­eral yrs after he retired. I can see your frus­tra­tion but while he was on deploy­ment 6 mos out of every yr it seemed, there was mom all alone car­ing for 4 kids for 20 + yrs. Hav­ing to endure all the moves, sep­a­ra­tion, wor­ry­ing, doing all. So I agree with reciev­ing half. Mil­i­tary spouses prob­a­bly have it harder than any of the sailors/gruts or airmen!

  69. I am unsure if you are just a self-centered & naive or just have no con­cept of what mar­riage is all about. You sound like a self­ish brat liv­ing in the all about me decade.” My hus­band was a USAF Fighter Pilot That was his gift, but I was so hon­ored that God allowed me to be part of it. In any role that you have within the mil­i­tary lifestyle, spouse or active duty, rep­re­sent your coun­try with respect, com­pas­sion­ate & self-lessness. Grow up, go to Church, learn that God put each per­son in your husband’s life for a rea­son & it makes him who he is today. I will pray for you.

  70. i just have a ques­tion. I mar­ried my hus­band in decem­ber of 2010. he is active duty in the mil­i­tary in nor­folk and he enlisted in aug 2010.. we have a 4 month old son together and he is still get­ting BAH. what exactly is the BAH for and am i enti­tled to any of his pay? i need things for the baby and he is refus­ing to send me any money. my attor­ney is telling me there is noth­ing i can do right now because we are in the mid­dle of a divorce. we sep­a­rated feb 7th 2012. and he has not sent me a dime for his son. what can i do?

    1. Your lawyer is cor­rect, you can’t do a whole lot with­out the court order. he might be required to send you the diff aprt of the equa­tion which is about 200 a month but since divorce is a civil mat­ter, and not a mil­i­tary mat­ter, you need a court order for him to be required to send you a penny. Time to get a job.

  71. I’m enti­tled to it because the govt says I am.…

  72. YOU POMPAS Jack­asses, all you guys are con­cen­trat­ing on is what you did as far as fight­ing for this coun­try. Some of us are very grate­ful I am a spouse of a Navy retiree for 21 yrs, We as mil­i­tary spouses bust our asses every­day all day, we have our own careers and we take care of chil­dren and main­tain the house­hold. If your in the Navy like my hubby was you guys are lazy, fat and cant wait to pull into the near­est port to get drunk and F off, and you have the nerve to say that we dont deserve any of the retire­ment you have lost your damn mind.

    1. as an army spouse, I dis­agree, we don’t have a claim to the retire­ment pen­sion because as you said, we have our own careers to build our own retire­ment. If you choose to not have a career, that’s your own fault

  73. I did not marry my hus­band until after he retired from ser­vice. He did 25 years. We have been mar­ried for 34 years and now he wants a divorce. What ben­e­fits do I receive, if any ‚since we where not mar­ried until his retirement.

  74. Well, it’s like this. We were mar­ried for 15yrs. We had chil­dren, I altered my husband’s uni­forms (which passed inspec­tion with fly­ing col­ors, cooked for him, took care of the kids. I was ded­i­cated to his suc­cess. I left fam­ily and friends to be with him, which I don’t regret. I “stood by my man” through a lot, even war time. He started court­ing a woman who use to be sta­tioned at the same place and shut me out. He had divorce papers made and served me. He then put me and the kids on a plane and sent us back home. I do deserve part of his retire­ment. He and I are now friends and he helps raise our kids long dis­tance as he has never lived where his kids do. I appre­ci­ate his will­ing­ness to help.

  75. You didnt sac­ri­fice jack!!!!!!!! You had cable tele­vi­sion, sat in an air con­di­tioned home, blew his friends that were not deployed. I am sick of this crap you sound like you was being a house wife wow hard damn job, if you want his retire­ment switch with him, wake up at 0500 do pt change and work until 2000 at night while your in bed watch­ing tv on your lazy ass.

  76. Well any­one who thinks it’s easy being mar­ried to a man who fought in the Viet Nam war needs to have their head exam­ined. I was mar­ried to my ex-spouse for 30 years and I helped him get his ser­vice con­nec­tion due to Agent Orange, PTSD and CAD…he and I divoriced 14 years ago, but he died in Octo­ber. I’m going to fight the VA for what I’m enti­tled to DIC and it states that in my divorce papers that I get half of his benefits.…no mat­ter what. If you ever lived and put up with the BS of a guy that fought in the Viet Nam era, then only you can under­stand. I raised two kids with this man and they were affected BIG time from this man…My first mis­take, mar­ry­ing and will NEVER do it again.…Am big time inde­pen­dent lady…

  77. For the peo­ple slam­ming mil­i­tary wives who are enti­tled to retire­ment pay, con­sider my sit­u­a­tion. I served in the Air Force 10 years. When I had my sec­ond child my hus­band con­vinced me that child­care was too expen­sive since it was on a slid­ing scale and a dual mil­i­tary cou­ple paid more, and that I should sep­a­rate. I got out and we have been mar­ried 14 years. Now head­ing into a divorce, he has put in 24 years, which I would be at also if I had stayed in. You have no idea of the things I dealt with being with a para­noid per­son with many med­ical issues. I have 4 kids. My pride is not going to pre­vent me from tak­ing what­ever I’m given and I don’t care who thinks I have or have not earned any­thing after giv­ing 24 years of my life to the military!

  78. That should have said men­tal issues, not med­ical, although he has them as well. Bot­tom line, he would not have lasted as a sin­gle per­son in the mil­i­tary, not if he had 4 chil­dren as he chose to have. I did my job and I don’t care about the bit­ter men who are upset about it. I’m going to be the one with­out health insur­ance going to crappy VA hos­pi­tals since I’m a vet myself and all.

  79. Well I can tell you a story and I will make it short. But it is sad when some of us woman, give up our careers to fol­low our hus­bands in thier Mil­i­tary careers and then after 26 years of mar­rage your hus­band has an affair in Iraq and calls you on the phone to tell you he no longer loves you and that he wants a divorce, and is buy­ing flow­ers and candy and plan­ning to move in with his mis­tress and you have no Idea of what is going on until you get the bill for the flow­ers, candy, and the phone call, that was like he carved my heart right out of me, I felt so sick I really thought I might end up in the hos­pi­tal. I was a good wife and took care of him when he had no job and I was the only one work­ing. And now after 26 years of mer­riage I am left alone with no career and a mor­gage to pay on my own, so yes I dis­erve half of his mil­i­tary retirement.

  80. The Attroney made the mis­take of not putting my hus­bands full name on the final divorce decree, could this pose a prob­lem when receiv­ing my benifits that were awarded me?

  81. I have a ques­tion for you. I have a pre exit­ing con­di­tion and my wife has my ben­fits of Tri­care. SHe has been mil­tary for 1 year now. I had to give up my health ben­fits that I bought seprately before. Just beca­sue Tri­care would not allow me to use there to the full value of them. I found my wife cheat­ing and Now I am up in limbo of what to do, I need my health ben­fits but I work for myself and have no empoylees. So how can I keep her ben­fits or how can I afford to buy new ones? Can the judge rule that I able to keep her ben­fits even if I have to pay for them?

    1. Tri­care is NOT a ben­e­fit that can be split in a divorce. You will have cov­er­age until the day the divorce is final­ized. Use that time to buy pri­vate insur­ance through one of your state pools or get a job that offers ben­e­fits and do your self employ­ment work on the side.

  82. I HAD THE FEELING OF INFIDELITY IN MY MARRIAGE FOR 26 YEARS. FOR THE YEAR 1999 WE ARRIVED WITH ORDERS FROM FORT BRAGG N.C. AND FOR THE YEAR 2004 MY EX-HUSBAND WAS REMOVED IN N.C. FOR WHAT MUCH OF WHAT VIVI WITH THE ACTIVE IN THE ARMY WERE 19 YEARS AND 7 MONTHS. THAT I CAN CLAIM AT THE TIME OF HAVING DIVORCED IN 2011.

  83. I am dis­abled Vet, 100%..Retired in 2007 but can’t draw retire­ment til age 60 due to time in Reserves.. What per­cent­age can both my ex’s get from me when I get AF Pen­sion at 60? 1st Mar­rige ended at 13 yrs. I was only active duty from 82 to june 92..divorced in 94…remarried in 96 joined reserves in 98..divorced in 2006 after injury in Iraq.

  84. I laugh when peo­ple say, “how are you enti­tled”. Before you get mar­ried know what your spouse can get from you and work at mak­ing your mar­riage work. Then maybe they would not “TAKE” what you worked for.

  85. What is the dif­fer­ence between the SBP and the retire­ment itself? I was under the impres­sion that they are two dif­fer­ent items. For exam­ple the SBP is the death ben­e­fit that the ex-spouse is enti­tled too and the retire­ment is sep­a­rate from that.

  86. I am face­ing the Big D. been mar­ried for 20 years and have been active duty for 17 years. I have no prob­lem take­ing care of my chil­dren who are 18 and 16. I sent my wife to school for both cos­mo­tol­ogy and med­ical code­ing but she choose to work as a lunch lady in our kids school cafe­te­ria because she only works 3.5 hrs a day and is off all sum­mer. She is in no way pre­pared to sup­port her­self and as a result I will most likely will be required to give her half of my retire­ment pay. She always tells me she couldn’t have a career because of all the move­ing but we were at our last duty sta­tion for 6.5 years. I deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan 5 times in those six years. So maybe that hin­derd her all I know is she has choosen not to work in the career fields she went to school for. Per­haps I will just EAS with­out retire­ing to pre­vent her from get­ting anything.

  87. As a mil­i­tary wife for nearly 16 years with my ex. Do I qual­ify for any ben­nifits, ie: com­mis­ary, exchange or med­ical. If so, where do I apply for them.

  88. i have a ques­tion, i have a friend who divorced her hus­band who was enlisted 20 yrs. they divorced, she remar­ried they the ex and the new hus­band passed. she went back to her 1st mar­raige last name to get the mil­i­tary i.d back…i thought once u divorce and remarry you lose the inti­tle­ment to the i.d…

  89. The retire­ment ben­e­fit is for the sol­dier not for the spouse male or female. I refuse to give my retire­ment to any­one. I told my spouse i would ETS at 20 years not take a retire­ment before i gave any of it to her. If I work at any other job for 20 years and didn’t have a retire­ment plan, what ben­e­fit would she get. Some spouse are just wait­ing sol­dier out so they can get the retire­ment. Mil­i­tary needs to change this rule. If you want mil­i­tary ben­e­fits then join the mil­i­tary stop tak­ing advan­tage of sol­diers. The ben­e­fit you get­ting is 20years of know med­ical bill, a place to live, and food on the table. So when you spouses male or female are at home in your warm bed sleep. The sol­dier is in the field, deployed or work­ing late. Get your own ben­e­fits the sol­dier and the army don’t owe you in anything.

  90. So some­one doesn’t deserve any­thing for rais­ing a child alone miles from their fam­ily and friends? Also as far as a job goes I guess it’s fair to put a child in day­care for 8 hours at a time? So the child would not see one par­ent for large gaps of time and the other only a few hours a day.…

    1. Nope…no pen­sion for rais­ing kids…you wanted them rais­ing them is part of the process. If you choose to stay home, that’s just it, it’s your choice. Why should you get pen­sion for life when your spouse has already paid tens of thou­sands for your exis­tence dur­ing mar­riage since you made a CHOICE to sit on your butt all day. You want the pen­sion pay the spouse back all the money he spent feed­ing, cloth­ing, shel­ter­ing, enter­tain­ing, trans­port­ing, and deal­ing with you.

  91. Ok, lets get some­thing straight here, You did not get to where you are now by Your­self!! If you were mar­ried, have kids, etc, your WIFE sup­ported you!! SHE made Sac­ri­fices to sup­port You!! What did she give up?? Her career? her auton­omy? Her FREEDOM?

    And what is she left with after sup­port­ing YOU for 10, 20 years??? Noth­ing, no career, no money, no edu­ca­tion, no retirement!!

    Out with the old, I don’t think so, wake up and smell the respon­si­bil­ity you have to the woman who gave up her life for yours!!!

    AAAAAHHHHHHH

    1. I was in the mil­i­tary for 6 yrs,married my ex hus­band and gave up my car­reer to suport his naval career..We have 2 chil­dren together and got divorced after 21 years.I was the one to keep every thing together at home and with all the moves we had to do for him to con­tinue his Naval career.Yes I do deserve half of his retire­ment as the wife of a Naval Officer.Military mem­bers can leave home for long peri­ods of time because they do know that their wifes at home are tak­ing care of every thing for them and thier familys.

      1. Fine, get half his retire­ment after you pay him back for all of your food, shel­ter, cloth­ing, enter­tain­ment, trans­porta­tion etc that he paid for for the last 21 years. You would have been home­less on the street or GASP…working with­out hiim. Once your kids were school age you had every capa­bil­ity of get­ting your own retirement

  92. My 50% dies when my for­mer spouse dies? Is that hold true for the med­ical as well as the retire­ment pay?

  93. I’m cur­rently going though a divorce after an 18 year mar­riage with a Navy man. He is in the process of retir­ing. Since the Navy does not rec­og­nize sep­a­ra­tion and we are not divorced yet, what hap­pens if he signs ben­e­fits away prior to the divorce but is court ordered to give ben­e­fits such as SBP, etc?

  94. if your ex-husband was in the ser­vice 4 yrs.. you were mar­ried 8 can you get insur­ance through the military

    1. no, you would have to be mar­ried 20 and he would have to have been active duty all 20 years

  95. i would like to know if after 4 yrs of tak­ing care of my totaly dis­abled hus­band if i am due any money

  96. Being Mar­ried for 21 years and my hus­band is going to retire in june with 21 years and 9 months . He will be get­ting 100% from VA and 75% retire­ment from Army tax free com­bat related and SSI for him and my 2 Daugh­ters. Can some­one tell me if I am entil­tled to . He is try­ing to say no because he retired med­ically but I thing he is try­ing to be slick. I have been with him all tru his mil­i­tary car­rer , have dealt with all his deploy­ment and his spurs of PTSD and have had to fol­low him all over and leave all my jobs. Some­one Please help me under­stand my entilt­ments. thank you

  97. Gale,

    I feel for your neice and her son. I was mar­ried to 25 yrs to a career Army man. He had an affair dur­ing his 2nd and 3rd times in Iraq. How­ever, Momma didn’t raise a dummy and I went straight to an attor­ney who under­stood mil­i­tary laws and ben­e­fits. I bypassed JAQ as my civil­ian attor­ney knew more than they did. Need­less to say, CO is con­sid­ered a “no fault” state. Your niece needs to check her state’s laws regard­ing divorce. As far as the hack­ing into com­put­ers: that is a Fed­eral crime and can be reported to your local police office to have sent to higher author­ity.
    Best of luck to all of you.

  98. I am very sorry to here that Gale and that’s just evil for any man to act in such a man­ner. I don’t care what he does for a liv­ing. I served for 22 years and my for­mer spouse and I divorced this year. Nei­ther one of us was not to blame and she is a good per­son, and that sounds like your niece. I am hop­ing for the best for her. You are right he needs to get on his J.O.B.!!

  99. In some cases mil­i­tary spouses have to move often that they are not always able to cre­ate that career. And as for my job, I have 5 weeks vaca­tion, how­ever due to the field dur­ing the hol­i­days is not a time I am able to take vaca­tion. Many of the other exec­u­tives are close to their fam­ily so that is not an issue. As for me, I was not. How­ever, I was ok with it dur­ing the part of my mar­riage that I was treated appropriately.

    In regards to short mar­riages, peo­ple are still enti­tled to things. Not nec­es­sar­ily ben­e­fits, etc. But that is for a judge to decide, or the two indi­vid­u­als to decide for them­self. Everyone’s sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent and is looked at on a case by case situation.

  100. In regards to hav­ing a say in your career, some peo­ple choose to move with their mil­i­tary spouse and ‘take a break’ from their career or raise the chil­dren. That is a mutual deci­sion, not just the ones career it is affect­ing. And for some, they may make that mutual deci­sion to bet­ter their fam­ily life, but in the end why should they be ‘screwed’ in a mar­riage if it ends? They shouldn’t. When you enter into a mar­riage you become part­ners and make deci­sions that are right for your fam­ily, mil­i­tary lifestyle or not.

  101. There’s many spouses on this site whose mil­i­tary hus­band never served in a war, was not deployed for train­ing, and mostly worked a 9–5 job. That is what mine did. For 20 years, he was rarely away from home, and he was usu­ally sit­ting at the din­ner table by 6 p.m. every evening. We never lived on base! Not once. We had nice homes in a civil­ian neigh­bor­hood, to include Ger­many. He com­mit­ted adul­tery over and over. He left me when I was sick with can­cer and after I’d spent a year recov­er­ing from a bro­ken neck. He was a Major in the Army. Yes, I get a per­cent­age of his retire­ment, deserve every bit of it, too.

  102. Becky
    I can not believe the igno­rance in you. Of coure the spouse in in titled to the ser­vice mem­bers ben­e­fits. They work just as hard at home keep­ing a sta­ble envi­ron­ment for their fam­ily. If the spouse does not work and to stays home rais­ing their chil­dren they have not been able to pay in to a retire­ment plan. Bet­ter yet try going into the work force after 15–20 years of unenployment.

  103. I knew what I get­ting into. Just like my cheat­ing spouse KNEW that if he cheated on me after 24 years of mar­riage that I would divorce him and get part of his retire­ment. He knew this but did it any­way. Mar­riage is a con­tract. My con­tract gave me a por­tion of his retire­ment. If he wasn’t a dog, he wouldn’t have this “problem”.

  104. You are enti­tled to BAH diff, which is about 200 bucks unless you have a court order say­ing dif­fer­ently. Right now he’s giv­ing you much more than he has to by pay­ing the rent, bills and gro­ceries. Hire a lawyer to deter­mine child sup­port but if he’s lower enlisted 400 bucks sounds about right. Real­ize that most states can and will impute income to you in child sup­port cal­cu­la­tions because you choose not to work. Right now it’s time to get a job to pay the lawyer to ensure you don’t get screwed and sup­port your child in the future because child sup­port won’t cover all the expenses (nor should it). With that short of a mar­riage it’s doubt­ful you’d get alimony.

  105. I wish my for­mer spouse was like that. I hated see­ing all these women show­ing up at the unit on the hus­band arm and I’m left sit­ting there by myself. Even worse my 1SGT once said SSG are you even really mar­ried, I have never met your wife!!

  106. Also spouse and help ruin their spouse mil­i­tary career and the other spouse has no feed back.

  107. not so Ms Heart­bro­ken, my wife divorce me after 20 years of mar­riage and 14 years mar­ried in the mil­i­tary. When I was in the mil­i­tary she didn’t want to be part of any activites with the mil­i­tary. My wife want me to pay child sup­port ( I have no issue with that beca­sue my daugh­ter) half of my TSP and my Mil­i­tary pay. Now i under­stand assis­tance some­one in tran­si­tion if she never had any­type of train­ing but i paid for my col­lege loans, pay for her mas­ter degree and her nurs­ing degree. My ex-wife doesn’t deserved anything.…

  108. BTW, about SBP enti­tle­ments, retire­ment and healthcare.…..we deserve EVERY bit of it!!!

  109. Come home from deploy­ment and find your wife hav­ing mul­ti­ple affairs. Then see if you feel the same way.

    MM

  110. I do not agree with this oh she made the sac­ri­fice and stayed with him. Did you know that all a DEPENDENT has to do is keep their legs shut and their spouses will give them the world. As soon as a mil­i­tary mem­ber usu­ally the hus­band deployes she goes and sleeps with every­one in sight so no she should not get any­thing. She did noth­ing for her coun­try but be a worth­less piece of shit and add to our economies debt. By the way I am a Marine Vert­eran and a female. I hate depen­dent women that take their man for every­thing! Did you know that the guys don’t play these games? It’s only you fucked up women that are greedy lit­tle gold dig­gers!!! I can­not stand you. More power to any mil­i­tary man that can get away from these idi­otic manip­u­la­tive bitches. And if this offends you then you are prob­a­bly one of the bitches I am talk­ing about. Maybe you should look in the mir­ror and admit it to your­self because one day it is going to come back to you!

  111. ps…bull shit! go get a job like the rest of us. Or at least get paid for being a whore!!

  112. Agreed … and what hap­pens to the spouse who REFUSES to work and only had one child who has been out of the house 8 years — and pushed me away from her AND was an alco­holic AND cut short my mil­i­tary career by REFUSING to move AND refused to move for my ideal civi­lan job? That is when this law is a problem.

  113. It is pos­si­ble to find civil­ian divorce lawyers to take lower retainer fees. Never look to the mil­i­tary when you have ques­tions about divorce. Always go civil­ians who under­stand mil­i­tary dis­so­lu­tion. Less biast 400 dol­lars should do it. Take that lawyer and file some sup­port orders against your hus­band. Takes about a month. The court will order the monies taken directly from his pay. Com­mands don’t take to kindly to dead beat fathers. Then, you can go about a divorce in a more civil mat­ter with­out wor­ry­ing about starv­ing. Have fun!

  114. It doesn’t offend me, but it is unwar­ranted and highly dis­ap­point­ing com­ing from a Uni­formed Vet­eran and more so a Women.
    Just think there are women fight­ing in our wars, and what leg would you like their hus­band to keep shut? I am one of those women whose hus­band will be pay­ing 1/2 of his retire­ment to his ex wife. I knew this when we mar­ried, rather she deserves it or not, it is the law. I was also mar­ried (over 10 years) and divorced and did not take ANY of his retire­ment. Nor was I the cause of the divorce, he didn’t want 2 chil­dren and a wife, he wanted some­one 12 years his junior.
    If any­thing, the law needs to be changed for flex­a­bil­ity. Spouses who had issues, rather it was not being faith­ful or blow­ing the money com­ing in, if they were not true to their mar­riage and were the cause of the divorce, they should NOT be awarded 1/2 of some­ones retire­ment.
    I will say this, try to get your point across at a level that is as equally Respected as the United Stated Marine Corp which you so boldly announced you served with.

  115. and I am sure you were paid for your “ser­vices”. You got a house, food, cloth­ing, enter­tain­ment, vaca­tions etc all paid for by your hus­band. Hasn’t he footed the bill for your exis­tence long enough? I’ve done all you’ve listed and more, and as a wife, I think it’s dis­gust­ing to touch a mil­i­tary mem­bers pension.

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