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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 20392
Experience:  Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
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I was married to my ex years. He was in the Army/Army Ready

Customer Question

I was married to my ex for 33 years. He was in the Army/Army Ready Reserves for 24 yrs active duty. We were married all but about 9 months of those 24 years. During the divorce process he wiped out the accounts so I didn't have money for a lawyer and didn't know I could go to a different JAG office. He lied to the JAG lawyer telling him that we were not married for his 20 years of service. I know this, because I ran into the same lawyer during one of my deployments. so the divorce decree states that I am to receive 49% of his retirement pay. When in actuality I should receive 50% with yearly increases if the President approves of a pay increase. When I send in the DD2293 form and ask for 50% will they go by the divorce decree or the time married. Also, when he retired he was a MAJ in the Inactive Ready Reserves and was told that when he reached 65 he would receive the retirement pay for the highest rank held, but he would have to request it. Can I request it? Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the information and your question. There seems to be a misunderstanding of the law as it relates to divorce and retired pay. The law that says a former spouse may receive up to 50% their spouse's retired pay is permissive and not mandatory. It is entirely up to State courts to decide how much of the spouse's retired pay to award with the restriction that it cannot be over 50% of net disposable pay. Here is a link to DFAS description of the law:
So, there is no per se entitlement to 50% and DFAS follows the language of the court order. It is very important also that the order says "net disposable retired pay." In addition, your ex is the one who has to initiate his retired payments.
Please feel free to ask follow up questions if you have them.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 3rd. For some unknown reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (in the pop up box for this question, which is how we get credit (paid) for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:
Thank you.