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Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 1544
Experience:  Military & Family Law. 30+ years experience. USFSPA pension division expertise.
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I am retired from the military 20 years, Rank E-6 getting aprox.

Resolved Question:

I am retired from the military 20 years, Rank E-6 and my retirement check is aprox. $1,500.00 a mouth on my pension, and I am 10 percent disable. 123.00 Dollar disability check. Witch is included in this $1,500.00. I am going through a divorce and I would like to know how much money my x-wife is authorized to receive from my $1,500.00 retirement check once the divorce is ended.

We have been married 14 years coming up in Sept and 10 years of that 14 we were married in the military.

Plus I would like do know where I can get this information for my own personal record
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Lawrence D. Gorin replied 8 years ago.
YOUR QUESTION:
     I am retired from the military 20 years, Rank E-6 getting aprox. $1,500.00 a mouth on my pension, and I am 10 percent disable. 123.00 Dollar disability check. Witch is included in this $1,500.00. I am going through a divorce and I would like to know how much money my x-wife is authorized to receive from me once the divorce is ended.
      We have been married 14 years coming up in Sept and 10 years of the 14 we were married in the military.
      Plus I would like do know where I can get this information for my own purpose.

ANSWER:
     First, the $123 p/m disability pay is excluded from consideration. So that just leaves $1,377.

     Divorce courts generally recognize a spouse (wife, in your case) as having a property division claim to 1/2 (50%) of that part of your disposable retired pay that is attributable to the years of marriage that coincided with active duty. In your case, given 20 years of active service, 10 of which were marital years, wife will generally be awarded 1/2 (or 50%) of 10/20 of your disposable retired pay. Thus, 50% x 10/20 x $1,377 = $344.25 p/m.    Stated differently, given your facts, she gets 25% of your disposable retired pay.

     And given that at least 10 years of the marriage coincided with at least 10 years of active duty service, she satisfies the “10-10 rule,” meaning that she will be able to obtain her court-awarded share of your disposable retired pay by direct payment from DFAS (thus eliminating any need to look to you each month for payment.

     NOTE: What is explained above is generally the most common approach used by divorce court judges in dividing military retirement interests. But it is not the only way. Other alternative methods for dividing military retired pay might also be considered.

     Division of military retired pay (or entitlement thereto) is an area of law that is filled with traps and pitfalls. You need to be on guard. You need to understand the law and legal procedures involved. Much depends on negotiating techniques and strategy. Here are the websites that you MUST read and understand to get the full picture (Col. Mark Sullivan’s “Silent Partner” series:

http://www.nclamp.gov/s_milpens.pdf
http://www.nclamp.gov/s_soldiers.pdf
http://www.nclamp.gov/s_mpdspous.pdf
http://www.nclamp.gov/s_pension.pdf


Other helpful websites:
http://www.dfas.mil/garnishment/retiredmilitary/speech8.pdf

http://www.divorcesupport.com/divorce/Division-of-Military-and-Veteran-s-Disability-3095.html

http://www.military.com/benefits/legal-matters/usfpa-overview

http://www.military-divorce-guide.com/military-retirement-division.htm

http://www.divorcenet.com/states/nationwide/the_disability_issue_in_the_distribution_of_military_retirement_benefits


     OK. Hope this helps you understand your situation and prepare you game plan and strategy. And I wish you well.
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