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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 18788
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I am planning to divorce my husband of almost 34 years. I

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I am planning to divorce my husband of almost 34 years. I know about the 20, 20,20 rule. I was told the exception to the rule was abuse. When I tried to get more information, I was read the paragraph which says this pertains to someone who is discharged from the military because of domestic abuse. We married in Sept '79, my husband retired June '99, making me 3 months short of the 20. I was in the military when we met in Okinawa Japan. He was very emotionally abusive, punching holes in the wall etc, but I never called the cops. He was very protective of his record and would not get any help on base. When we were in Utah @ Hill AFB he was in a 6 month domestic violence anger management group off base. Is there anything I can do to retain my benefits for more than one year?

Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I have nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines, including JAG.


The rule that allows abuse to be an exception to the 20/20/20 rule only works if it is the abuse that led the spouse to get out of the marriage early and that is the reason that he/she missed the date.


In this situation, you didn't make the 20/20/20 rule because your marriage didn't overlap enough military service, but that is not because you ended the marriage early due to abuse. It is because your marriage started too late after he began service and he retired too early for you to be able to meet the standard for the 20/20/20 rule.


Unfortunately, your facts simply do not fit into any of the exceptions (and there are very few) to the 20/20/20 rule. You are not going to be able to retain the medical benefits beyond a year. You will need to push for additional funds from him in the divorce to obtain your own insurance.

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