Dividing Retirement Pay in Military Divorce

Military divorce is just like any other divorce which involves dividing marital assets as part of the marital dissolution process. One of the valuable marital assets of a service member is their retirement pay. Under the 1982 Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, family courts are allowed to divide military retirement benefits between divorcing spouses.

Windfall in Dividing Military Retirement Pay

When a military spouse is not retired during the divorce proceedings, the court may award the other spouse not only a portion of retirement benefits that have already accrued during the marriage, but also of future retired pay that have yet to be earned by the military spouse. The value of future retirement pay can increase after several years as a result of promotions and longevity pay adjustments that may be earned after the divorce. Many refer to this potential situation as a windfall for the other spouse.

Marital Agreements

Parties in a military divorce may enter into marital agreements that provide a different formula for dividing future retirement pay. In one case involving the division of a member’s future retirement pay, the Supreme Court in Oklahoma upheld the agreement’s formula for computing the other spouse’s portion in future retirement pay, saying that the ex-spouse’s share in future retired pay would diminish the longer the member stayed in service.

Importance of military divorce lawyer

The language used in these settlement agreements can be perplexing to the parties. That is why it’s important to speak to an experienced military divorce attorney who can guide you throughout the process and help you make informed decisions about marital assets.

Other matters that can make a military divorce particularly challenging include jurisdiction over a service member, child custody and visitation, and support. Your lawyer can analyze your case and can apply for temporary court orders on child support, spousal support, custody/visitation, and other living arrangements that best suit your situation.

In Oklahoma, the family oriented law firm of Rick Dane Moore and Associates, PLLC have over 25 years of military divorce experience. As a former member of the Army Special Forces, Rick Moore has maintained important ties with the military and understands the unique challenges and situation of families going through military divorce.

We also handle other family law cases such as child custody, child support, motion to modify, guardianship, termination of parental rights, adoption, and paternity. We invite you to call us for a free 15-minute consultation at (405) 703-6552.