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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 18809
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I have a question, if a member of the military dies in his

Customer Question

I have a question, if a member of the military dies in his current wife is less than a year and a half with him, does not the ex-wife who was with the member for more than 10 years have been rights and the to the children also? I have an ex-spouse of a friend whose ex-husband died while on duty and she or the children have not received anything, but the current wife of maybe a year and a half is receiving benefits each month and collected the insurance benefit, as always I do not think this is right, your assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
First Sgt. retired, Quinal Johnson
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have a question, if a member of the military dies and his current wife is less than a year and a half with him, does not the ex-wife who was with the member for more than 10 years have rights or benefits and the to the children also? I have an ex-spouse of a friend whose ex-husband died while on duty andshe or the children have not received anything, but the current wife of maybe a year and a half is receiving benefits each month and collected the insurance benefit, as always I do not think this is right, your assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.First Sgt. retired, Quinal Johnson
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 7 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. No, the ex-wife is not legally entitled to anything based on the length of the marriage. Divorce extinguishes any rights to any sort of survivor benefit. The insurance benefit is distributed based on who the beneficiary is on the policy and that, by law, is named by the soldier who named his new wife. That's entirely legal (perhaps not right, but legal). For a former spouse, there is only one way they could have any right in any sort of survivor benefit plan, but that is not based on military law. Instead, the divorce court would have had to force the military member to name her as a "former spouse" beneficiary of the SBP plan, and that is only true if this military member had actually retired. It does not apply to any sort of survivor-ship benefit based solely on a military member having passed. I understand your frustration on the part of the law here, but the ex-spouse has no automatically established rights under any military law. 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 7 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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