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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 14071
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Subject: Military Pension and SBP My divorce was finalized

Customer Question

Subject: Military Pension and SBP
My divorce was finalized as of May, 2015. During my divorce mediation settlement conference with both of our lawyers, my lawyer and me informed my ex-wife that I had elected to sign up for the Spousal Benefit Plan (SBP) at the time of my retirement outprocessing, and she would receive a portion of my military retirement pay, and a 100% full death benefit check totalling approximately $777.00 monthly, if I were to die first, for the rest of her life.
My ex-wife and her lawyer stated the following: "Although we appreciate your offer of the SBP, we graciously turn down the offer, and will accept the culverture value of the SBP for the amount of $27,000," and she wanted a lump sum payment of the value of my military retirement pension.
I asked my lawyer if I had to pay the $27,000? He stated she was entitled to the money based on the value. Although I wasn't in agreement with the situation, I said, the SBP is a death benefit, and I am not dead at this time. Therefore, I paid her that portion of the money, in addition to monies from my other finanical accounts.
However, approximately one month after the deal was done, she recieved a notice from DFAS informing her that DFAS does not pay military retirement to ex-spouse's in lump sum payments. However, she would receive 34% ($350 monthly) percent of my retirement disposal income.
She wasn't happy about the amount ($350), and now I have a summons to appear on August 31, 215, in order to deal with this matter, if we can't work out a settlement. However, my ex-wife and I verbal agreement was if I transferred an additional $250.00 monthly she would settle for that amount.
The problem I have with the pending deal is, her lawyer wants me to make a lump sum payment to my ex-wife heirs, if she dies before me, and I would be obligated to make a lump sum payment from my estate, if I die before her.
My position is my exwife took the $27,000 cash pay out of the SBP during on settlement mediation conference, therefore, I should not have to pay anything, regardless who dies first. My lawyer states that I still have to pay the lump sum payments, in the event of who dies first. It seems to me, she would be receiving a "death benefit" payment, although she already recieved $27,000.
Seeking information, inorder to receive fair treatment in this situation.
Thank you,
Ret. SFC Stanford Mayfield
***@******.***
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.
I am sorry for this dilemma however, I'm not certain I understand your specific question would it help to chat on the phone?

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