There are many military benefits that a spouse filing for divorce in California may receive from a military member.
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Military Benefits Eligibility
Your military benefits eligibility can vary depending on the number of years you were married and the amount of time the service member was enrolled in military service.
Military Thrift Savings Plans
The thrift savings plan is treated the same as a 401(k). A court will order that the interest be divided but, there is specific language that must be included in the court order that differs from a civilian retirement plan division order. There is no time requirement and the amount to be divided will be the amount accrued during the marriage.
Survivor Benefits Plan
A former military spouses that was the beneficiary of a Survivor Benefit Plan while married may not be eligible for these benefits upon divorce. Any interest in a Survivor Benefit Plan must be addressed in the divorce settlement.
Military Base Privileges
A former spouse’s interest in military base privileges such as commissary, exchange, and theater privileges is determined by the “20/20/20 rule.” The military benefits eligibility requires that the former spouse must have been married to the military member for at least 20 years; the military member must have been in the military for at least 20 years; and, there was an overlap in time for the marriage and military service of at least 20 years. The former spouse will be entitled to full base privileges until remarriage.
TRICARE eligibility also is determined by the 20/20/20 rule. If you qualify under the rule above, you will be eligible for TRICARE as long as you do not remarry. Otherwise, you may qualify for transitional coverage if you were married to your former spouse for at least 20 years; your ex-spouse was in the military for at least 20 years; and, your marriage overlapped the time in service by at least 15 years.
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