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Proposal could affect military retirement pay after divorce

Military service members seeking a divorce may have many concerns, particularly when it comes to the financial aspects of divorce. Therefore, divorced military spouses in Mississippi may be interested to hear of a provision in a proposed piece of legislation to amend the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act that would affect retirement benefits for the ex-spouses of former military service members.

Under current law, if a service member divorces, his or her ex will receive a portion of the service member's retirement pay based on the years the service member has served at the time he or she retires and on the service member's rank. However, under the new bill, retirement payments going to an ex-spouse will be based on rank and the years of service at the time that the couple divorces, not at the age of retirement.

The impetus behind this change stems from the stories of service members who divorced after only a few years into service, but who upon retirement have had to give a significant portion of their retirement pay to an ex-spouse from many years ago. The bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

While it remains to be seen how this bill will progress, if it passes into law, it can mean significant changes are on the way to divorced military service members and their ex-spouses. It also serves as an example of how a military divorce can differ from a civilian divorce. Military service members or their ex-spouses who want to learn more about how this bill might affect them may want to contact a military family law attorney in Mississippi who can provide further insight.

Source: Action News Jax, "Proposal could give less taxpayer money to divorced spouses of troops," Samantha Manning, Aug. 12, 2016

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