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I have a question. If my ex-spouse was awarded a portion of…

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I have a question. If my ex-spouse was awarded a portion of my retirement while serving on active duty does is he still entitled to that same benefit should I separate and join the reserves?

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you overseas or stateside?

Currently overseas but the divorce was finalized stateside

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to anyone in the chain of command about this?

They do not have the answers

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I'm not sure what is relevant. My divorce agreement specifies provisions of the USFSPA.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hello,
I have added a copy of the military retirement benefits section of my divorce agreement for your review.
Answered in 6 hours by:
1/4/2018
Family Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,260
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

No, you don't have to pay him. Only benefits earned during the marriage are eligible to be split. Any assets acquired after the divorce is finalized belong to the person who earns them. The retirement benefit split is based on the number of months you served before the separation date. Any additional benefit you earn will belong to you alone. Similarly, if your spouse were working, you would not get any portion of retirement they earn after the date of the divorce.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reply WITHOUT RATING so I may address them. My goal is to provide you with excellent customer service. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so I get credit for assisting you today. Mobile users may have to scroll to the right. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hello Lucy,Thank you for responding so quickly. I am currently in S. Korea so I don't see your responses until the next day because we are 14 hours ahead here.I just want to be sure your answer is specific to the rules guiding USFSPA and military retirement. I agree, she is only entitled to that portion of my military time served during our marriage. However, I have heard from another military member that Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS)-Cleveland, (DFAS-HGA-CL) may not see the distinction between serving on active duty and separating active duty and joining the Reserves. Could you please verify your answer applies to these rules.
Thank you very much. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Also, I have been trying to decipher the DOD Financial Management Regulation, Volume 7B, Chapter 29 guidance but I am not sure it specifies what I am looking for or applies. To be honest, I am not sure what document to research. Thanks again.
Family Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 months ago

The military only splits retirement when there is a specific court order from a state family law court directing them to do so. They wouldn't do it without an order. The order you have divides your retirement pay as of what was accrued on a specific date. IT's not about serving on active duty vs. reserves. It's that you're already divorced. She has no right to any property you acquire after divorcing. Since this is part of the equitable distribution of assets rather than alimony, it's not modifiable. And without a new court order, the military isn't supposed to give her any more money.

That Financial Management Regulation is just saying that the military can direct deposit the portion of your retirement that goes to your former spouse instead of paying you and having you pay them. They do that largely because it's cheaper and easier than drafting and mailing checks. That section does also note that they're only dividing money with a court order, though.

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Family Lawyer: LegalGems, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,015
Experience: Experienced Family Law Attorney
Verified

Hello; I see you requested a new contributor. Did you still need assistance on the above? If so what is your specific question?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hello. Yes, the previous contributor may not be familiar with the rules that govern military retirement. I tried to switch my question from family law to military law but there is no option to complete that action.My original question was, "If my ex-spouse was awarded a portion of my retirement while serving on active duty does is he still entitled to that same benefit should I separate and join the reserves?" Specifically, I would be swapping from active duty service to service in the reserves under a plan call Palace Front which is designed to continue service after my date of separation from active duty. My former spouse and I were married for the first 17 years I completed on active duty. It has been 4 years since we divorced now and I am still on active duty. I saw this statement on a website, "if a spouse is married for at least 10 years overlapping military duty, it doesn't matter if those 10 years are all active, all reserve, or a combination of both, according to a 2008 ruling from the Defense Claims Board". Which lead me to ask if a spouse is not married to a service member for "overlapping military duty", will that former spouse still be awarded part of the member's retirement pay should he/she separated and then join a different service? I my case that would be leaving active duty Air Force and joining the Air Force Reserves. I previously added a copy of the portion of my separation agreement which pertained to military retirement to this discussion, let me know if you cannot see it. I can also provide addition details you may require. Thanks.
Family Lawyer: Michael Bradley,
 replied 4 months ago
Michael Bradley
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,377
Experience: Owner at The Protection Group LLC
Verified

as your question is complex please let me look into it

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hello Sir,
I am just checking in with you to see if you were able to find any answers regarding my question. Thank you.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Please find me a lawyer with military law experience. Thank you
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Satisfied Customers: 1,377
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