Divorce and TRICARE

Q: I was mar­ried for 23 years and my wife divorced me. The effec­tive date of the divorce was 30 May 2007. Is she autho­rized to be a depen­dent ID card holder and is she autho­rized to be in DEERS and utilizeTRICARE?

–Earl, Fort Laud­erdale, Florida

A: I have no idea, but I can explain the rules so you can fig­ure it out. If you were mar­ried for 20 years that over­lapped with 20 years that you served and which were cred­itable towards retire­ment then the answer is yes. This is called the 20–20-20 rule and if your ex-spouse meets these cri­te­ria than she would be enti­tled to all mil­i­tary ben­e­fits includ­ing med­ical, com­mis­sary, and exchange…and of course she would be enrolled in DEERS and have an ID Card. The ID Card would actu­ally be issued with her SSN as the spon­sor, not yours. Of course, is she remar­ries, she would per­ma­nently lose her TRICARE eli­gi­bil­ity, although she would be eli­gi­ble for other ben­e­fits if the new mar­riage ended by death or divorce. Check out the answer to a ques­tion sim­i­lar to yours at the TRICARE web­site.

29 responses to “Divorce and TRICARE”

  1. Yes, she is enti­tled to cov­er­age with Tri­care and her own mil­i­tary ID. This I know because a man at Ft. Sill’s ID cen­ter took my ID and then my Tri­care was also taken away when my COL divorced me after 34 years of mar­riage to marry the woman he was liv­ing with. When my ex retired I went back and was told it should never have been taken away. Since I had paid for my own Tri­care all of that had to be refunded to me.

    1. Can some one tell me how i can go about get­ting one.i am a divorced spouse ‚wife of my hus­band who has retired from the army reserve.i have sent my doc­u­ments show­ing i am eli­gi­ble for tri­care coverage.however i don’t have a card.i have called tri­care a num­ber of years or months ago and they said they don’t have them.but appar­ently they do if y’all have one.I need it for insur­ance pur­poses can some­one tell me how i can get one please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Help

  2. My hus­band passed away and we were only mar­ried for 4 months..I have applied for VA ben­e­fits (my hus­band was 100% dis­abled) we lived together for 20 years and had a domes­tic part­ner­ship cer­tifi­cate from the state of Cal­i­for­nia. The VA does not acknowl­edge that either, since we live in a non com­mon law state and the VA only reconizes Com­mon Law states which is against me also. Do you think that the gov­ern­ment will ever change these laws regard­ing com­mon law and will the gov­ern­ment ever reconize domes­tic partnership?

  3. I have an ID card but since I was only mar­ried for 4 months before my hus­band passed away, would I be ele­gable for Tri­care? As I men­tioned I do have an ID card to shop at the com­mersery. Thank you

  4. I reside in the state of Vir­ginia and was mar­ried for 24 years. Since I was not mar­ried to my ex for 20 of those years while he was on active duty, I did not qual­ify to retain the ID card for med­ical or commissary/shopping ben­e­fits. I did qual­ify for 20% of his mil­i­tary retire­ment and I also qual­i­fied for spousal support.

    1. spousal sup­port ok, retiement is BS, mil­i­tary per­sonel are not retired until age 62, prior to that it is a retainer pay (com­monly ref­fered to as retire­ment), there were thou­sands called back to duty dur­ing the cur­rent wars, u should not be entit­tled to any of his mil­i­tary until full retire­ment, fill lucky that this again is anoth­er­way to screw those who serve and you did it to.

  5. I thought dur­ing Viet­nam if a solider was killed then his wife would con­tinue to receive ben­e­fits, no mat­ter the length of their mar­riage. If she remar­ried then she would lose her ben­e­fits. If there are chil­dren they keep their ben­e­fits until 18. I don’t know if the chil­dren went to col­lege if they keep their ben­e­fits.
    Please if I’m wrong please post the cor­rect answer

  6. I was mar­ried to my X for 23 years. I have a ID card and a Tri­care Card. He just remar­ried this year., will I lose any of my ben­e­fits now that he has a new wife?We were mar­ried his whole mil­i­tary career.

    1. You should not lose any of your ben­e­fits. Your sit­u­a­tion and mine are almost identical.

    2. no, you still keep your ben­e­fits, he can remarry as often as he wants

  7. I was mar­ried to my ex for 22 years. I do not get any ben­e­fits or have an ID card. He has remar­ried and I count as noth­ing! Older peo­ple tell me that it used to be 10 years of mar­riage to get ben­e­fits! I am from Eng­land and have no fam­ily here. Luck­ily, I have friends that let me stay with them. Does any­one have any idea if I am enti­tled to anything?

    1. Was he active duty for at least 20 of the 22 years you were mar­ried? If so, you should fall under the 20/20/20 rule.

  8. I was a Yeo­man in the Coast Guard and my main duty was issu­ing ID Cards and updat­ing the DEERS Sys­tem so I am famil­iar with all of the sce­nar­ios that deter­mine eli­gi­bil­ity, here is the link to the DEERS web­site for For­mer Spouses. http://​tri​care​.mil/​m​y​b​e​n​e​f​i​t​/​h​o​m​e​/​o​v​e​r​v​i​e​w​/​E​l​i​gib

  9. My exwife cashed my pay checks and told me they did not come in the mail. She also sold our home under a fruaduent doc­u­ment. Removed income tax returns from the mail and cashed them, told me they did not come. She filed for divorce in 1989 six months after I had a 20% ampu­ta­tion of my dom­i­nate hand. Col­lected on my pen­sion for over 10 years. Eight hun­dred dol­lars a month sup­port gar­nished from my pay­roll check. and draw­ing SSI. any­one how is this possible?

  10. A USA retiree with 90% VA Dis­abil­ity and I have been co-habitating for 22 years. Can I receive Sur­vivors Ben­e­fits if I out­live him? Can I qual­ify for Tri­care for life..he’s 70 and I m 75. Is Geor­gia a com­mon law state?

  11. The safest bet is to marry but yes GA is a com­mon law state or equi­table state. What was yours before the mar­riage is yours, what was his, is his. Every­thing that was bought dur­ing the mar­riage is BOTH of yours.
    Not sure how that applies to co-habitating.

    I was mar­ried for 4 years, I am from Ger­many. He wanted the mar­riage and divorce. We bought 2 houses, RV, JEEP. While he was deployed he asked for a divorce but was still gone for 10 months. Dur­ing that time I still took care of the houses, being a land­lord, send­ing him what­ever he needed. Pay­ing his/our bills. I asked for noth­ing in the divorce, except that he refi­nance the homes to take my name off of them. He has not done that. He also has not paid on either one of the homes since last Novem­ber..
    Need­less to say by credit is shot. I also have no fam­ily here. When he returned from deploy­ment he brought his girl­friend! that he met online to the house we both lived in while we were STILL mar­ried.
    Nobody did any­thing about it.
    A Col who was also the emer­gency chap­lain told me on the phone I should have just sold every­thing while he was gone. I told him I did not want to be one of those women the men talk about..He said well and now look where you are. Great advice!

    He receives BAH for one of the houses, the house he lives in, but he does not pay the mort­gage. Both are VA loans.

    Any tips/advice?
    Thank you

    1. Did you get it writ­ten into the divorce decree that he is to refi­nance the houses out of your name? If it was in there, haul his ass back to court and go after them enforc­ing that AND a dam­ages set­tle­ment. Also, send the copy of the decree stat­ing that you were to be removed to all three credit agen­cies and to the mort­gage holders.

    2. take him to court and sell both houses because it is in both your names and you will have to split the profit before there is no profit and the house goes into forclosure.

  12. I am try­ing to fig­ure out if I am eleg­i­ble for Tri­care now that my hus­band wants a divorce. We were mar­ried for 11 years and 4 months, then we remar­ried 3 months later, now it has been another 10 years. We have 20 years and 8 months total out of the 24 years he was in. Is it a total of 20 years or does it have to be 20 years in a row? I need tri­care bad as I am dis­abled due to an acci­dent in 1998. My med­ica­tions And pro­ce­dures for pain are so expen­sive that even with medicare I wouldn’t be able to pay it all.

    1. yes you qual­ify, you should still have your ID card espe­cially tri­care. you are also enti­tled to part of his pen­sion. just saying

  13. What if active mil­i­tary mem­ber retired 6 weeks prior to their 20 year anniver­sary? He was in for 22 years, they are still mar­ried but he wants divorce and is mak­ing life mis­er­able for all involved (2 teens involved). He was active duty when they got mar­ried, mar­ried for 20 years now BUT retired at just before they made their 20 year anniver­sary. He has changed all pass­words on bank­ing accts, taken her off car insur­ance and cell phone, etc. it’s going to be ugly and she doesn’t know where to begin. Wanted to try to made it work but it doesn’t seem pos­si­ble. Any advice would be nice.

  14. I am plan­ning on remar­ry­ing my retired mil­i­tary ex. We were orig­i­nally mar­ried 3 years and divorced 3 years. Can I get the tri­care ben­e­fit back?

  15. I have been mar­ried for 27 years and am con­tem­plat­ing a divorce at this time.

    My wife was with me for 15 of my 20 years active ser­vice. She wants at least 50% of my retire­ment. She is Japan­ese and I am an Amer­i­can from Florida.

    Does she get 50%? Does she get to main­tain her ID card with com­mis­sary and PX pri­valges lus medical?


  16. mar­ried 40 yrs.16 over­laps mil­i­tary ser­vice, before his retire­ment. I am per­ma­nently dis­abled ( mul­ti­ply scle­ro­sis since 1975, — more recent, COPD ) We have a pro­founly dis­abled 23 yr son, who has always lived at home. I have been his sole care provider, his whole life. He was born, with his dis­abil­i­ties. Now my retired Navy hus­band is divorc­ing me. What can I do to retain tri­care Ben­e­fits, fore my son and I ? He aban­doned the fam­ily, with no sup­port, and says we can’t renew our I.D. cards. Actu­ally, the navy retained my sons card, because, my hus­band refused to fill out a DD Form 137–5, for dis­abled adult child.

  17. There is noth­ing you can do to main­tain Tri­care on your­self, you would need to have 20 years of mar­riage over­lap­ping 20 years of his active ser­vice, with only 16 years that meet that cri­te­ria you will be eli­gi­ble for Cobra cov­er­age for one year post divorce (and it’s expen­sive) then you are on your own. In regards to your son, you will need to hire a civil­ian attor­ney to see if you can get a judge to force him to main­tain health insur­ance on your dis­abled son as part of the divorce set­tle­ment. You can’t afford to NOT have a lawyer.

  18. My hus­band and I have been mar­ried 24 years and 11 months. I recently found evi­dence he may be look­ing to divorce me. He retired from the Army at the 20 year mark. I was mar­ried to him for 16 years and 7 months of his mil­i­tary career. Will I lose my tri­care insur­ance benefits?

  19. i need help my hus­band was dis­charged from the mil­i­tary in 2008 we moved to statesville n.c. within 4 months who took our two girls with­out my know­ing and dis­ap­peared til he was found in 2013 our 2 girls are n cus­tody of the stste of w.virginia because of him i still have ins. with tri­care but can not get ins. card and can­not get other ins. because of this so what can i do i need med­ical treatment

  20. If retired from the Navy and plan­ning on get­ting a divorce after 42 years, what ben­e­fits will Ex spouse receive?. If he remar­ries what ben­e­fits will new spouse receive?

  21. get off your high horse…you did chores for a liv­ing. While being mar­ried 10ish years can net you a por­tion of his retire­ment pen­sion you will get noth­ing else, Tri­care, com­mis­sary etc. And real­ize if the judge “threw out teh mil­i­tary law book” you ex can and should appeal any por­tion (such as award­ing you part of his dis­abil­ity pay) that is in direct vio­la­tion of fed­eral law.

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