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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 18811
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I'm getting divorced and after a 6 year marriage in

Customer Question

I'm getting divorced and after a 6 year marriage in California and the opposing counsel is asking that I sign a QDRO. We also have an MSA which states she will get a portion of my retirement anyways. Is this document nessessary?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

As for whether or not the document is correct, I can't really answer that. I can't review it and make determinations as to its particular accuracy before that state court.

What I can say is that nothing in military law makes is wrong. By that, I mean that military law on the issue of the division of military retirement does not dictate any particular result. All it does is grant state courts the right to make determinations on division of military retirement in the same way they have the ability to divide civilian retirements.

There is something called the 10/10 rule, which many mistakenly believe requires a marriage to have last 10 years before division can occur. That is not true. All that rule does is determine when DFAS will pay someone directly. If the marriage hasn't lasted 10 years, then a former spouse can't turn their decree into DFAS for automatic payment. The retiree would then have to send checks each month themselves or set up an allotment. The payments though would still be legally required by the decree and contempt of court charges would be the method of enforcement.

QDRO isn't legally necessary for DFAS, but if the court in question wants one, it's not wrong to have it and as you are not working with DFAS anyway (because the marriage didn't last long enough), the QDRO isn't going to legally offend anyone.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.

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