When a United States military service member and their spouse decide to divorce, several important issues may be of concern to both of the parties who are involved in these legal proceedings. The laws that concern the dissolution of a military marriage do not apply to non-military couples who are seeking a divorce. Military spouses who are involved in the divorce process are often anxious when it comes to alimony extras such as bonuses, overtime, and benefits. The Federal Government’s USFSPA (Uniformed Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act) was created to calculate and govern the pay and benefits of someone who has retired from the military.
Am I Eligible to Receive Alimony from a Military Spouse?
In order for a former military spouse to be eligible for alimony benefits such as medical, commissary and exchange privileges, several criteria must be met.
- The marriage must have lasted for at least twenty years.
- The spouse who was a member of the military had at least 20 years of honorable service, making him or her eligible for retirement pay from the branch of service involved.
- The military service had an overlap of at least twenty years with the military time served.
The extras, bonuses, overtime, and benefits that go along with being a member of the military are considered to be a part of the military salary. Therefore, when a military service member of any branch decides to seek a divorce, these things are some of the criteria used when the court starts to calculate the amount of alimony that the other spouse will receive. Even if the soon to be ex spouse does not like the idea of paying spousal support, he or she must go by these guidelines, as alimony is an order of the court. Refusal to pay alimony is contempt of court, and is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.
Let a Competent Divorce Attorney Assist You
Military laws can be quite different from civilian laws, and military divorce laws call for understanding and experience in order to properly enforce them. Finding a divorce attorney who is familiar with military regulations and laws is important. By doing so, you can insure that you get the alimony extras you deserve. A confident attorney who has done many military divorces will be able to save you a bundle of time, money, and worry.