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Dividing military pensions in a military divorce

Civilians in Gulfport may have retirement packages, such as 401(k)s, Individual Retirement Accounts and pensions, that may be included in the division of assets in the event of a divorce. Similarly, those in the military may have military pensions that would be included in the division of assets, in the event of a military divorce. This can present some complexities, however. Therefore, service members getting a divorce may want to seek legal help.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) addresses military retirement and the division of assets. Under the USFSPA, depending on the state, military retirement pay will either be considered marital property, belonging to both parties, or sole property, belonging only to one property. The USFSPA does not contain a specific way to calculate how to divide retirement pay between spouses. This is generally left up to the state, per the state's laws.

Moreover, the payment of a service member's ex's part of the military retirement plan comes from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service if the couple had been married for at least a decade, which also coincided with a decade of service in one of the nation's branches of the military. This is called the 10 year rule. If the 10 year rule is not in effect, the retired spouse will be the one making the payments.

Pensions and retirement plans are important for the future livelihood of anyone, whether they were in the military or not. It is important that they are divided fairly and appropriately, so that neither spouse is left without a source of future income in their retirement years.

Source:, "Military Divorce," accessed on June 27, 2016

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