The 10/10 rule, which is part of the USFSPA, is often misunderstood in its scope. Confusion about the 10/10 rule usually occurs when retired military members claim that the former spouse is only eligible for military pension benefits if the couple has been married for 10 years during their military service during the marriage. That is incorrect. The 10/10 rule in the case of division of military property only gives the member`s spouse options as to where he or she receives payments. If the couple has been married for at least 10 years and the member has completed at least 10 years of qualified military service, the non-military spouse has the option of receiving payments directly from the Defence Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Go to any marriage law website to research military divorce issues, as they are related to military pensions, and one of the first things you`ll learn is the so-called Protection of Former Spouses in Uniform Services Act (USFSPA). The maximum portion of a pension that DFAT pays to a former spouse as part of a wealth allowance is 50% of the member`s available retirement salary. This does not prevent a court from awarding an ex-spouse more than 50% of the share of the marriage (theoretically possible, but I have never seen it before). If a soldier finds himself in this unfortunate situation, he must differentiate between what the DFAS pays directly and the distribution of the military pension by the divorce court. The rule simply refers to the source of the payment – a direct payment – to the spouse. Under the 10/10 rule, the spouse receives pension-related payments directly from DFAS – the payment service provider to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Thus, the former spouse does not have to rely on the retired member and wait for the latter`s payments. If the state court hearing a military divorce case grants a retirement salary (as marital property) to a military ex-spouse, usually expressed as a percentage of the available retirement salary, the USFSPA will enforce these payments if: Many people mistakenly believe that military spouses are only entitled to a division of military retirement pay if they work with their spouse was married and that 10 of those years were military retirement spouses. “creditable” years of military service. That`s not true. What is the USFSPA doing in this context? It is a federal law passed to recognize the right of state courts to “distribute retired military salaries to a spouse or ex-spouse,” according to the official DFAS website, providing a way to legally enforce these court orders through the DoD. But it does NOT automatically allow an ex-spouse to receive a portion of the military`s retirement salary. The 10/10 rule ensures that the divorced spouse does not miss any payment, while limiting contact between ex-spouses, who have sometimes had a bitter separation. Since many things can go wrong if the military retirement order is not properly drafted, this is not something a pro-se client should do – the ex-spouse needs the help of a qualified lawyer who knows the military system.
If you have a case in Colorado Springs, you can contact the lawyers at Graham.Law (shameless plug!) In 1982, a law called the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) was passed, which gave state divorce courts the ability to treat military retirement benefits as matrimonial property that could be divided between spouses. If a spouse has been married for at least 10 years and is straddling military service, it does not matter if those 10 years are all active, all reserve, or a combination of both. After a dissolution of the marriage, an ex-spouse who has at least 10 years of marriage with 10 years of creditable military service can apply for a direct pension payment from the Defence Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). 10 United States Code § 1408(d)(2). The USFSPA establishes the above rules for retirement benefits, but also gives the option to apply “current and/or previously due (arrears) family allowances and current alimony granted in the court order.” In fact, there are a variety of court orders that can be enforceable under the law, including: This article focuses on the so-called “10/10 rule,” which governs how a soldier`s ex-spouse can collect their court-ordered portion of the soldier`s retirement salary in a military divorce case. In cases where military salary is granted both to an ex-spouse as a division of property and is subject to seizure for alimony or alimony under the DOD Financial Management Regulations, Volume 7B, Chapter 29, Section 290901, the maximum amount that DFAS pays directly to the ex-spouse is 65% of the retiree`s disposable income, calculated in accordance with Section 42 of the United States Code § 659 (not the same as the available retirement salary). If you have been married to your spouse for at least 10 years and your spouse has served in creditworthy military service for at least 10 years during that period, you can receive your share of the military retirement salary shared directly by the Defence Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) instead of your former spouse. The first thing you need to know about the 10/10 rule when it is applied? It does NOT explicitly order state courts to award a former spouse a percentage of military retirement salary. What does that mean? It is important to understand your legal rights and obligations under these laws, whether you are a military member or a civilian spouse. The basic law firm can`t provide you with legal representation in a divorce case no matter which side you`re on, but it can inform you of your rights and obligations on both sides of the equation, and this is a situation where ignorance of the law (military and civilian) can certainly hurt you. This rule also applies to cancellations and legal separation. This is probably good advice for deciding whether or not a divorce is the right course of action for a military couple, but in the context of this article, the 10/10 rule refers to the Defence Financial Accounting Service (DFAS) guidelines for situations where an ex-spouse of a military member may be entitled to a portion of the veteran`s retirement salary as a condition of divorce.
In this case, “10/10” refers to how long the couple must be married for the ex-spouse to be eligible, and the member must complete at least 10 years of military service to be “eligible” under this rule. 10 years of marriage, 10 years of service = 10/10. Legal issues such as military divorce need to be informed by expert advice. If you are considering hiring a lawyer, it is a very good idea to do so, even if it is only advice on your rights and obligations. If you`ve recently divorced or are still going through the process, you probably have your hands full. While it`s almost always wise to consult a professional lawyer when you end a marriage, you may need additional help navigating military laws. Consider speaking to a licensed military divorce lawyer in your area for more details. For the latest military news and advice on military family benefits and more, subscribe to Military.com and have the information you need delivered directly to your inbox. Certain court orders granting a portion of military salaries as property from the period prior to June 26, 1981 may be complied with if USFSPA requirements are met. Why does the official website of the DFAS indicate this date? At Stange Law Firm, PC, we dedicate our entire practice to family law. Our lawyers have experience in dealing with all aspects of military divorce, and we have a comprehensive understanding of the unique processes and requirements that must be considered in these specialized proceedings. We are all familiar with the rules for sharing the retirement salary of military personnel, and you can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to achieve the best possible result on your behalf.
Stange Law Firm handles cases from armed forces across the country, including Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. To learn more about the 10/10 rule in the Military Property Division, you can read our blog post “Military Divorce is Unique.” What is the 10/10 rule in military divorces? With this, we`re NOT talking about the old “think once, think twice” rule about decision-making, which looks like this: “Before you make a decision, think about what you might think of that decision in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years.” Could you please explain the 10/10 military regime? Maybe I`m getting ready for a divorce.