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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19943
Experience:  Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
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My mother was married to her first husband for nine years,

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My mother was married to her first husband for nine years, all in the Navy. She married her second husband, also in the Navy, two months after her divorce was final. He retired 12 years later, and they're now getting divorced after 37 years of marriage.

She was married to both husbands, combined, for more than 20 years of their military service; does she qualify as a 20/20/20 spouse?

Thank you for the information and your question. Unfortunately, that is not how the law works. In order to qualify as a 20/20/20 spouse under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act, the nonmilitary spouse must have been married to the same servicemember for at least 20 years, and servicemember had at least 20 years of creditable service, and there were at least a 20-year overlap between the marriage and the military service. So, your mother would not qualify for the benefits provided to a 20/20/20 spouse unless one of her marriages qualified on its own. That doesn't mean the court can't award her a portion of his retired pay, it just means she won't be entitled to TRICARE and base privileges.

Please feel free to let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you; I expected that to be the answer, but I'd found no authoritative source.

You're welcome and although it is a bit convoluted, this is the statute that sets out what a 20/20/20 spouse is:

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