No divorce is straightforward. However, certain circumstances can make some divorces more complicated than others. If someone has served in the military, their spouse may have a right to receive a portion of retirement pay under a provision known as the 10/10 rule. Understanding how the 10/10 rule works for military spouses can give you the knowledge you require to plan your divorce negotiations.
The 10/10 Rule Explained
The 10/10 rule applies to couples who have been married for ten years or more in which the military member served for at least ten years. While each state has primary jurisdiction over the legal agreements of each divorce, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) helps ensure that the former spouse receives their court-ordered portion of the ex-military member’s retirement payment from DFAS.
Divorce cases involve a division of marital assets and property according to the laws of each state. This division applies not only to property the couple currently shares but also to retirement pay. However, in some military divorces, the distribution of retirement pay is determined by the 10/10 rule.
All former spouses of service members may be eligible to receive a portion of their ex’s military retirement pay. However, in many cases, the former spouse will receive these payments from their ex. This arrangement can often lead to delays and frustration for the person waiting to receive the funds to which they are entitled.
The 10/10 rule streamlines this process by taking the former military member out of the equation. In a military divorce case where the 10/10 rule applies, the court will order that the spouse receive these retirement payments directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Because the former spouse receives the funds directly from the government, they can feel assured that they will get their money punctually.
Determining Payment Amounts Under the 10/10 Rule
The amount of money a former spouse will receive from their ex’s military retirement pay will depend on how much money the couple earned throughout the course of their marriage. The 10/10 rule limits the eligible amount to 50 percent of the former military member’s disposable retirement payment. This amount excludes:
- Contributions overpaid to the government
- Payments that the military member has declined so they can receive VA disability benefits
- Survivor Benefit Plan premiums the former spouse was already receiving
- Forfeitures ordered by a court-martial
How a Military Divorce Attorney Can Help
Everyone faces the stress of confusing protocols and overwhelming emotions during a divorce. Military divorces can often present an added layer of complexity. You may be unsure whether you are eligible for payments through DFAS under the 10/10 rule, or you might not know what proportion of your former spouse’s retirement pay you are entitled to receive. An experienced military divorce attorney can assess your circumstances and help you understand your rights.
Contact a Seasoned Virginia Beach Military Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are going through a military divorce, the attorneys at Invictus Law have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the process smoothly. Our team has extensive experience in both divorce law and military law. Furthermore, our lawyers were raised in military families, and we have years of military service ourselves. We understand the needs of service members and their families, and we are committed to fighting for your rights every step of the way.
Call 757-317-5125 to speak to a member of our team today, or contact us online for a consultation to find out how we can help you.