Every divorce comes with questions and complications. Child support, property division and spousal support are frequent issues. But just as being a military spouse presents unique challenges, so too does it present unique questions.
Will I lose my commissary and exchange privileges?
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) addresses many concerns of a former military spouse. Whether you continue to be eligible for commissary and exchange privileges is determined by the 20/20/20 rule. The service member must have served for at least 20 years, you must have been married to them for at least 20 years, and there must be 20 years of overlapping time when they were in the service and the two of you were married. If these requirements are met, you will retain full commissary and exchange privileges.
What about Tricare?
The 20/20/20 rule also governs health care you can receive. If you satisfy the rule, you are entitled to full health care benefits, including Tricare and treatment at military medical facilities. If you do not, the 20/20/15 rule may help. With 20 years of service and 20 years of marriage, but only 15 years of overlapping service and marriage, you still get full medical benefits but only for one year following the divorce.
Am I eligible to receive any of my ex-spouse’s military pension?
While the USFSPA doesn’t automatically grant you a right to the pension, it does provide a means of collecting it if the state divorce court determines you are entitled. Under the 10/10 rule, if there was an overlapping period of 10 years of service and 10 years of marriage, the USFSPA will enforce a court’s divorce order granting you rights to the pension.