Am I entitled to my ex-husband’s military retirement pay if we were married for less than 10 years?
If the courts have awarded you a portion of your husband's military retirement pay after your military divorce, you can still obtain them, even if you have been married for less than 10 years.
If the courts have deemed your ex-husband's military retirement pay as marital property during your military divorce and have awarded you a portion of it, those payments are legally recognized and protected by the Uniform Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA.) This means that you can still receive your portion of your ex-husband's military retirement pay that was awarded to you in your divorce degree or separation agreement.
In many cases, the Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) can automatically deduct court-ordered payments from your ex-husband's military retirement pay after your military divorce.
However, in order to have your payments automatically withdrawn, you the following requirements must be met:
- the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years; and
- your ex-husband must've served at least 10 years of credible service during your marriage.
Even if you don't meet the above requirements, you can still obtain your court-ordered military retirement pay from your ex-husband after your military divorce or during your legal separation. He'll need to pay you a portion of his pension payments via check, instead of by direct deposit authorized by the DFAS.
It's important to avoid unwittingly signing any paperwork that may waive your rights to funds you're entitled to. A Virginia divorce attorney that specializes in military divorce for woman can help you understand all the military regulations and help you expedite your payments.
Contacting a Virginia Divorce Attorney
There are very specific rules governing Virginia divorce, especially with a military divorce. At Hofheimer Family Law Firm we are committed to providing you with the experience and compassion you deserve and the successful results you need to move on with your life. Request a FREE copy of our divorce guide for women in Virginia, or reserve your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.