Military Divorce Rights

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The authority regarding military divorce issues like emergency child support orders and military pensions lies with the Federal Law. Other military divorce proceedings are taken care of by the state court. It has been recorded that 20 percent of active duty officers are given a military divorce within 2 years of active deployment.

Military Divorce Rights as per SSCRA

SSCRA is an abbreviation of the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act. As per this Act, military members are offered certain rights that are not given to civilians.

  • At the discretion of the court, the divorce proceedings of military members can be postponed when the military member is on active duty and 60 days on completion of the service
  • When a military member is on active duty and military divorce papers are served, then this member can take the assistance of a lawyer to file a motion in the court to postpone the divorce procedure
  • The military member can discuss the pros and cons, of delaying the divorce procedure, with the lawyer as well as the methods of safeguarding their legal interests

Military Divorce Rights as per USFSPA

USFSPA is the short form of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act. This Act describes the rights of the non military spouse post a military divorce. The rights are regarding healthcare, retirement and other benefits.

As per this act, if the below mentioned conditions are fulfilled, the non military spouse is entitled to full benefits of the divorce.

  • The marriage has lasted for minimum twenty years
  • The military member has served twenty creditable years in the military
  • The overlap of the service and marriage was minimum 20 years

After such a divorce, if the non member spouse remarries, then this spouse loses the full benefit rights.

The court orders that can be enforced under this Act comprise of final decrees of legal separation, annulment, dissolution, divorce and property settlements regarding such decrees. This Act consists of a method that can be used to enforce current child support and current alimony granted in the court order.

Divorce Rights regarding Military ID cards

Military members are required to submit an application for ID cards for their family members. Such military members are listed as sponsors. However, they are not given the right to appropriate these cards when they feel so. The Family Member ID cards and the associated privileges are granted by Congressional Law and not the sponsor.

Consider that a military member illegally seizes a military ID card from the spouse. Such a military member can be charged with Larceny as per the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 121.

After finalization of the divorce, the non military spouse loses the ID card and the rights associated with it, except in the following two cases.

  • 20/20/15 former spouse
    • The partners had a marital life of 20 years
    • The military member has completed minimum 20 years of service creditable for retired pay
    • The military service and marriage had a 15 year overlap
  • 20/20/20 former spouse
    • The spouses were married for minimum 20 years
    • The military member has completed minimum 20 years of service creditable for retired pay
    • There was a twenty year overlap of military service and marital life

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