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How does the USFSPA help divorcing military couples?

Alimony can be tricky to figure out even without additional hurdles. Because of extra hurdles, military spouses could struggle even more due to the fact that they often receive unique benefits. The question for many divorcing military couples then becomes “how will these benefits be divided”?

The U.S. Navy Legal Services Offices states that spousal support between divorcing military couples falls under the USFSPA, or the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act. Under this act, ex-spouses of those with military benefits may still be eligible for some benefits of these benefits even after a divorce. Under USFSPA, military retired pay is also considered marital property. This means that it is treated in the same way that a pension plan would be. Retired pay is therefore subject to garnishment, child support or alimony payments.

Becoming a designated beneficiary of a Survivor Benefit Plan is another bonus open to divorcing military couples. Additionally, retirement pay and continued access to the commissary are also available. Health care benefits can also be included. This will provide coverage for a partner after the marriage is ended. However, the benefits that can apply may vary at times. Discounts for military will no longer be applicable to the divorced party that is not military, as well.

Dividing up property, money and so on is a difficult part of divorce. Luckily, with acts like the USFSPA, military couples may not have quite as much to worry about as they may have initially believed. With issues like benefits taken care of, it gives couples more time to focus on other concerns.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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