Military spouses who determine their military benefits after divorce face a complex process of understanding both the Civil Code and military regulations. It is best for spouses to review these matters before divorce, if possible, and seek legal advice for assistance. Can a divorced spouse get veterans benefits?
Act on the protection of ex-spouses of uniformed services
The Act on the Protection of Former Spouses of Uniformed Services is a federal law that provides some benefits to former spouses of members of the army. A former spouse who is not remarried may receive medical, commissioner, exchange and theater privileges under the Morale, Social Welfare and Recreation program if he meets the requirements of 20/20/20:
- The former spouse was married to a member of the army for at least 20 years at the time of divorce, dissolution or annulment.
- A military member has completed at least 20 years of service, which is reliable in determining his pension entitlement (a member does not have to be retired from active service).
- The former spouse has been married to the member for at least 20 years of his retirement function.
Former spouses may be entitled to TRICARE medical insurance if they meet certain requirements:
- A service member has performed at least 20 years of legal service.
- The marriage lasted at least 20 years.
- The marriage period covers the period of service for at least 15 years.
Ex-spouse Act of 1982 On the Protection of Spouses (USFSPA) allows the division of military pensions into marital property during a divorce decree. This does not pay the former spouse, but rather allows courts to treat military retirement as a one-off, and state law will determine the distribution.
The United States Armed Forces receive healthcare from the Tricare healthcare provider. Some divorced military spouses are entitled to continued Tricare insurance. Two conditions are associated with current medical insurance. First, a member of the army must have at least 20 years of service that relates to a person’s military retirement benefits. Secondly, the couple must be married for at least 20 years. Third, the required 20 years of military service that apply to a person’s military retirement benefits had to be served during marriage.
User rights at the post office and police station
Generally speaking, access to the post office and police station is limited to members of the military service, their spouses, pensioners and dependents. In some cases, however, your ex-spouse may have the privilege of shopping in these stores. Two conditions must be met to qualify. First, they must be married to their ex-spouse for at least 20 years. Secondly, the military spouse must have at least 20 years of service during the marriage, which is counted towards their military requirements.
Free legal assistance
Divorce is a complex topic, and legal representation is often needed for someone on your behalf to be a lawyer. The army provides free legal assistance in many cases, including divorce and even separation. Unfortunately, veterans are not eligible for these services. Most of the eligible groups include active duty, reservists, retirees and dependents of the army, including military spouses.