Military Divorce

Divorce in a military family can be much more complex than among non-service members. First, there are the logistics: Many of the men and women based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, NAS Whiting Field, Hurlburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base have served many long deployments.This makes issues involving children more complex than for a family where both spouses work in the area. Everything from the amount of child support for a military spouse to determining residential custody are affected, and you need to account for this in your property settlement, child support obligation and your parenting plan. At MGM Law, P.A., we are familiar with the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) and how it will affect a divorce involving a service member.

Military Divorce and finances

Whether you are the spouse of the service member or are the service member, there are many issues that will affect the division of the military retirement benefits. Our attorney can help you understand each element and then determine how they will fit together in your settlement. In Florida, you are entitled to an equitable divorce settlement. This means you will not necessarily receive a 50-50 split of all assets.

It is especially important to consider issues such as how long you have been married, the amount of service overlap with the marriage and various benefits, like a Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) or a Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy.

If you were married 20 years or longer, have 20 years of service and there is 20 years of overlap, TRICARE — the military's health care insurance — is available for former spouses. We can help explain your options if you don't qualify for TRICARE under the 20-20-20 rule.

Don't Forget The COLA

With all of these military divorce entitlements, you need to understand the role of the time value of money and of taxes. When it comes to pension allotments, you want to be certain that your settlement includes the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), as that could make a substantial difference over a 30- or 40-year retirement.

You should also understand how the 10-10 rule will affect your share of the service member's pension to ensure that you receive an equitable share.

We will also calculate how taxes affect the actual amount of payments. For example, a $100,000 Roth is worth more than a $100,000 savings account because withdrawals will not incur additional tax.

Never Assume Anything

You should include a specific date for your former spouse to apply for retirement benefits in your settlement. Your retirement payments will only commence after your spouse has applied for their retirement benefits, so you should negotiate a date and get it in the order. Simply because your spouse is eligible for retirement does not mean they will apply; some put it off to spite a former spouse.

Contact Our Military Divorce Lawyer

You will work with our attorney and our experienced team. We want to help you obtain the best possible outcome with your military divorce. Call our Pensacola office for a free initial consultation at 850-450-1755 or use our convenient online form.

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