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San Diego Military Divorce Pension Lawyers

Military Pension and Retirement Allocation in a Divorce

Divorce of any kind can be difficult. When it comes to a military couple filing for divorce, they will face similar issues and processes that a regular civilian divorcing couple must handle such as concerns over child custody, division of assets, and financial support for alimony. It can become more complicated if the service member is deployed in another country during the time of the divorce proceedings. When a military couple files for divorce, one specific financial question that arises is surrounding the service member’s retirement pension and determining how much is allocated to the spouse.

If either you or your spouse are in the military and in the process of filing for divorce, you’ll need an experienced San Diego military divorce attorney to help with your case. Especially when it comes to determining what percentage of your military pension will be divided between the two of you, having the assistance of the Law Office of Thomas M. Huguenor will be a tremendous advantage during these difficult times.

What is the Law Surrounding Military Pension During a Divorce?

When a service member has served at least 20 years in the military and decides to retire, they are eligible for pension, continued health benefits and commissary. In the event that a military family files for divorce, the issue arises over whether the spouse is entitled to a portion of this pension amount.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) was established to address these concerns over division of the former service member’s retirement pension. The USFSPA made it so that this military pay is considered marital property and can be divided in a divorce. It leaves it to the court’s decision in the divorce proceedings to determine the amount that will be provided to the former spouse which will be outlined in the final divorce documentation. This pension can also be applied to other financial responsibilities after the divorce such as child support and alimony.

The USFSPA covers various elements of pension when it comes to military couples divorcing but here are three specific rules that one should know:

  1. The 10/10 Rule: Under this rule, the couple must have been married for at least 10 years while the service member was serving in the military for at least 10 years. Typically, the spouse will be entitled to at least half the pension then that is distributed, but this is not always the case 100% of the time.
  2. 20/20/20 Rule: The former spouse can qualify for continued receipt of commissary and health benefits provided by the military if the service member was in the military for at least 20 years, the marriage was for at least 20 years, and 20 years of that marriage was within the time of their military service. Failure to meet these particulars means that once the divorce is finalized, these benefits will be eliminated.
  3. 20/20/15 Rule: If the service member was in the military for a period of 20 years and married 20 years, but only 15 years of that marriage were within the span of their military service, then the former spouse can be eligible for full medical benefits only for one year after the divorce.

A Military Divorce Attorney to Handle These Important Matters

Understanding military divorce issues regarding retirement pension takes time and practice. With more than 35 years of experience in the area of military divorce, the Law Office of Thomas M. Huguenor can help you through these difficult times. Whether you are the service member and want to contest the amount of your pension that is being distributed to your former spouse, or you are the spouse and want to ensure you are receiving the proper portion of your former spouse’s pension, give us a call today and learn more about how we can assist you going forward with your military divorce. We can be reached at (858) 458-9500.

Additional Information

(858) 458-9500


11455 El Camino Real, Suite 390
San Diego, California 92130

Office: (858) 458-9500
Fax: (858) 630-2341

Our Firm Services The Following California Areas:
San Diego, La Jolla, Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Rancho Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Pacific Beach, and Mission Beach.

Certified family law specialist by the State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization.

The Law Office of Thomas M. Huguenor is a San Diego, California firm practicing exclusively in the area of domestic relations law. We handle a wide range of matters including divorce, child custody, and child support. Whatever your situation we can be of assistance. Feel free to contact us today.

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