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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19182
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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Going through a divorce. I retired from the Marines. Married

Customer Question

Going through a divorce. I retired from the Marines. Married for 17 years. How much of my retirement is my spouse entitled to?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Legally, your spouse is not entitled to any specific amount. The Uniform Service Former Spouse Protection Act doesn't work like that. it doesn't create an automatic entitlement. All it does is grant state courts the right to divide military retirement in the same way they have to divide other forms of retirement.

All your spouse has then is the right to request from the state court a division of your military retirement. The court can legally grant her 50%, 0% or something in between based on a formula of its choosing.

Now, the court most commonly uses a formula that takes into consideration the length of your marriage as is compares to the length of your service.

You said you were married 17 years I don't know how many years you retired with, but let's just use 20 for this example.

17/20 equals .85, so that's the first factor. Then you multiply that by .5, to get 50% for the total marriage overlap or 42.5%

A court could use that formula and come to that result, but it is not legally mandated.

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