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I am the spouse of a retired military (army) officer. We had…

I am the spouse...

I am the spouse of a retired military (army) officer. We had a 40 year anniversary on May 21,of this year One month ago he left. He took the early retirement plan at 16 years of active duty service. I know I have to stay married to him in order to keep my benefits especially the health. I am in poor health and receive a small disability check each month. H e is making me feel forced to go back to work because of the stress of maintaining 2 households. My question is: because he retired before 2o yrs I don't meet the 20/20/20/rule. We were married 5/21/77. When military ok'd early retirement did they consider grandfathering these years?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

South Carolina

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

There is no chain of command he is retired, Ft Jackson offers no help to retirees and none to spouses

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

My name is Jean

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/15/2017
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 35,949
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

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I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. Can you tell me, what do you mean by

When military ok'd early retirement did they consider grandfathering these years?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Where the military law says a spouse can divorce and keep all benefits if the have been married at least 20 years, military member served 20 nd I forgot what the other 20 is. So What I ean is at the early retirement package can Idivorce him and get my benefits is there like a 16/16/16?

Ahh...thank you

That makes sense.

Can you tell me, what benefits are you referring to with the 20/20 rule? Are you referring to the healthcare benefit? Or his pension?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
all benefits health, my share of retirement,commissary,px whatever i am entitled to. i gave up a teaching career. raised this man's 2 children to support his career, supported him through the Gulf war etc. i want what is mine.

Thanks
Your share of his pension is easy...you do not need to invoke the 20/20 rule. IF you divorce, the court will award you a portion of his pension based on your marriage.

But everything else (commissary/px/tricare)? That is governed by federal law...specifically Title 10 US Code section 1072 and 1062.

And that requires that he serve 20 years active duty...if he retired early? You can not qualify for the benefits, under federal law

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you will qualify because he early retired but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 35,949
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
Verified
P. Simmons and 87 other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I sort of figured this was going to be the answer. Thank you for your time and confirming it for me. I know it is not your fault. Thank you for being out there to help.

Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to accept the answer, I truly appreciate that
phil

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Category: Military Law
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Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.

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