How is a Military Pension Divided in a Divorce?

A non-military spouse in Utah may be entitled to receive a share of the military spouse’s military pension as part of a divorce settlement. However, the military pension can only be divided by a judge in the military spouse’s state of residence. This means that if the non-military spouse wishes to receive part of the military pension, the divorce must be filed in the military spouse’s home state.

In some divorce settlements, a court may rule that the military pension should be divided between both ex-spouses by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Typically, this will happen if the marriage passes the “10-10 test.” A marriage will pass the 10-10 test if one spouse was on active duty in the military for at least 10 years of the marriage.

If the requirement for passing the 10-10 test is met, DFAS will divide the military spouse’s pension checks between the two ex-spouses and mail a portion of the amount to each person. Even if the marriage does not pass the 10-10 test, however, a court may still rule that the military pension should be divided. In this type of situation, the military spouse will be the one responsible for mailing the monthly portion of the military pension to their ex-spouse.

Information about how the military pension is divided during a divorce may be helpful for a spouse whose marriage is close to meeting the 10-10 test requirement. Depending on the situation, it may be beneficial for a divorcing spouse to either delay or speed up the divorce proceedings when a military pension is involved. Because there are an innumerable amount of variables, the information about military divorce that is presented in this blog is not meant to be confused with divorce advice.

Source: State Side Legal, “Divorce In Military Families – How It’s Different & What You Need To Know“, September 29, 2014

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