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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19181
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I will likely be filing for separation and divorce from my

Customer Question

I will likely be filing for separation and divorce from my spouse (AD Army) and would like information on what benefits my son and I are entitled to.
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: We are TX residents stationed in Fort Meade, MD
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: I'm trying to find one in the area
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: He has been verbally and emotionally abusive for the last 9 years; had multiple affairs; OTC medication abuse; multiple psychiatric diagnoses; potential paternity of his married subordinate soldier's newborn child It's a mess
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year 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 a former spouse, there really are not very many benefits that you are automatically entitled to. Only after you're marriage has lasted 20 years (overlapping 20 years of military service) are you automatically entitled to an ID card (to have PX and commissary privileges) and Tricare coverage after your divorce. If your marriage hasn't been that long or didn't overlap enough military service, you have no automatic rights beyond the right to transitional insurance, like COBRA in the civilian world.

You also have the ability to request a division of his military retirement. This isn't an automatic right. The law doesn't work that way. All the law did was grant state courts the right to divide military retirement in the same way that they can divide civilian retirement. State courts aren't obligated, but just empowered to do so. That being said, in most instances courts will grant a division of the military retirement based on a formula that it chooses. Usually that formula takes into consideration how much of your marriage overlapped military service. For purposes of simple math, assume a 20 year military service period and 10 years of overlapping marriage, a court might grant 25% of military retirement division (50% times 10/20). That same court could also grant 0% or 50% and either result would be legal.

As for your son, he would be entitled to coverage under Tricare as a continuing dependent of your husband.

Child support and spousal support are state court determined and don't touch on military law at all.

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. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am concerned more with transition pay (BAH), child support, alimony, etc. Our son is special needs (high-functioning autistic) and requires additional therapies that aren't typical of most children. I don't know if we must file in Texas given we were married in Texas or if we can file in MD. I really don't know what the process is.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

The transitional pay, meaning before the divorce actually takes place, is a matter of regulation. AR 608-99 requires that proper support be given if you are not living in base housing. If you are living in base housing, technically no other support is required while you are.

If you are not, then you are entitled to the entire BAH ll -With rate. This is also called the non-locality rate.

You can see those rates there, based on rank. You would be looking at the BAH with dependents line and this is true whether he is receiving BAH or not

The remainder of your questions are not a function of military law. The military has nothing to do with child support or alimony. That is entirely up to the state family law court in question, on how they calculate eligibility and amounts.

You don't have to file in Texas simply because you were married there. You can file where you can show jurisdiction. If everyone is living in MD, then you can file there.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required after the response I previously provided to you. 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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