Domestic question concerning retirement pension: What is a former spouse entitled to if the member was only married to the former spouse for the last 5 years of service before his retirement. Does the 20/20/20 apply to pensions?
State/Country relating to question: Alabama
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Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.The 20/20/20 rule has nothing at all to do with division of pension. The rule that applies to pensions is found at 10 US Code 1408 and is called the Former Spouse Protection Act (FSPA)This federal law allows the state divorce court to "divide" military retired pay (prior to the FSPA this was not possible at all). The FSPA permits, but does not require, a state court to award a share of retired pay. Its something that divorce courts had been doing for years with other pensions...the FSPA made it possible to treat a military pension the same as any other pension.The court typically will award a portion of the retired pay based on the number of years of marriage during which the retired pay was earned, divided by the total years of service. If the spouses were married for at least ten years while the member was on active duty, the non-military spouse will qualify for direct enforcement, which means that his or her portion of the retired pay will be paid to him or her directly by the military finance office.WIth only 5 year overlap? I would expect only 10% or so of the pension to be awarded...but the court can award more or less, since the law allows division up to 50%
Retired Marine Corps Lawyer, Veterans Services Officer (VSO)
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