Divorce is almost always a painful and challenging life decision to make; however, it is even more complicated if one or both parties are in the military. If you are at the point where you’ve considered and decided on a divorce, you should know everything involved. Divorce isn’t particular to civilian couples; even military couples face this challenge. For military couples, service members, or those married to service members, military divorce can be complicated. Navigating the complexities of a military divorce is better when you know what to expect and how to approach the subject. This article takes you through the common misconceptions about military divorce in Oklahoma.
#1: Ex-Spouses Automatically Get 50% of Their Military Spouse’s Pension
Pension and military retirement are some of the shrouded areas of military divorce. Many people believe that the spouse of the military personnel is entitled to 50% of their military pension or military retirement after divorce. This isn’t necessarily true. The amount a military spouse receives after a divorce depends on many factors, including the amount of time the couple was married during the service years.
For example, a military spouse with 20 years of service record but has only been married for five years will most likely part with half of what was earned during the five years. It is important to note that this isn’t set in stone as each case is treated differently. The amount received by the military spouse will depend on the circumstances surrounding the divorce, specifically overlapping marriage and military service.
#2: Ex-Spouses are Not Entitled to Ex-Partner’s Military Pension in Marriages Less Than Ten Years
A popular misconception about military divorce is that the spouse of the military partner must have been in marriage for ten years or more to qualify for a share of the partner’s military pension. This is not true. The amount a military spouse’s partner is entitled to depend on a number of factors, including the number of years the marriage lasted while the military partner served. It is important to note that there is no minimum threshold to this rule, but the specific amount of military retirement that a former spouse is entitled to is specific to each case. A military spouse’s partner might be entitled to a portion of their pension even if the marriage lasted for only a year.
#3: Non-Military Spouse Will Lose Commissary Benefits and Health Coverage in Divorce
Non-military spouses often wonder about their access to military benefits after divorce. One of the biggest worries is their health coverage, closely followed by commissary benefits. There is a chance the partner may lose one or both benefits due to a divorce. However, the answer depends on the length of the marriage. Unlike other issues that can be deliberated in court, there is a standing 20/20/20 rule to follow when allocating military benefits.
Marriages that lasted for at least twenty years, the military spouse has at twenty years of credible military service, and twenty years of overlap may qualify a military spouse for benefits like full commissary benefits, medical care coverage, and more after a divorce. In some instances, a former spouse may qualify for at least one year of medical privileges even when the 20/20/20 rule hasn’t been met. Otherwise, military spouses will need to seek and obtain new medical coverage immediately or compensation from their ex-spouse upon divorce.
Military marriages are often stressful to dissolve. If you are in the military or a spouse to a service member, you deserve a Fierce Advocate, contact Cannon & Associates today. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at (405) 657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.