Perhaps you and your spouse, a member of the military, have decided to end your marriage.
The military divorce process in Washington involves a set of numbers. You may face the 10-10 rule regarding retirement and the 20-20-20 rule for the continuation of benefits.
A little background
In a military divorce, as in a traditional divorce, questions about support and healthcare arise, among other considerations. For some of the answers, you can turn to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act.
The 10-10 rule
The USFSPA plays a role in your divorce if the court awards you a certain portion of your spouse’s military retired pay as property. The USFSPA can enforce the order as long as you and your soon-to-be-ex were married for at least 10 years and your former spouse put in 10 years or more of military service in eligibility for retirement. This is the 10-10 rule. The USFSPA can also enforce a court order for child support and alimony.
The 20-20-20 rule
You may qualify for continuing healthcare under the 20-20-20 rule. First, your former spouse must have served in the military for at least 20 years. You must also show that the marriage lasted for 20 years or more and overlapped the military member’s period of service by a minimum of 20 years. If these requirements apply, then in addition to Tricare coverage and treatment when needed at a military facility, you can continue to receive full military exchange and commissary benefits.
Any divorce action has its complexities. However, an advocate can help you untangle the requirements of a military divorce so you can enter the next phase of your life with greater confidence.