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What Are My Military Divorce Benefits?

There are very limited circumstances in which divorced spouses receive military benefits.

Dear Q&B,

I'm getting a divorce from my military service member. How long will I get to keep Tricare and get to use the commissary after my divorce? What are my military divorce benefits?

Sincerely,
Almost Out

Dear Out,

I'm sorry about your divorce. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as military divorce benefits unless your service member has been in the military for at least 20 years AND you were married for at least 20 years AND your marriage overlapped his service by at least 20 years. That's known as the "20/20/20" rule.

For example: If you were married for 20 years, but he's served for less than 20 years -- no benefits for you. Or if he has served for more than 20 years, but you were married for, say, only 14 years -- no benefits for you. But if you were married for at least 20 years and he has served for at least 20 of those same years, you will be able to get some benefits. Make sense?

For those who meet the 20/20/20 military divorce rule, you will still be able to use the commissary, exchange and Tricare after your divorce is final. However, if you remarry, you will forfeit all of those benefits.

If your marriage and his service overlap by only 15 years, but he's been in 20 years and you've been married 20 years, you can qualify for one year of transitional Tricare from the date your divorce is final.

For every other military spouse divorcee, there simply are no military benefits after divorce. Your benefits end the day your divorce is final.

However, if you have children together, they will still qualify for military benefits, even if you haven't been married more than 20 years and even if you remarry. You can go here to read all about those rules.

Good luck!

Sincerely,
Team Q&B

-- Do you have a question about your benefits? Email the Military.com Questions and Benefits team at questionsandbenefits@military.com.

Related Topics

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