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Federal Divorce Law

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Had a buddy ask me about divorce law and the Obama federal change to it. Didn’t know how to answer. Figured there were some people in the know on here that can help.


He got divorced prior to : http://apgnews.com/community-news/legal-note-divorce-military-pensions/ passing. So his divorce says he is suppose to give her 50% of the days married while in the service. Then that percentage carried out over his whole service. For easy math if they were married for 10 Years of service and he served 20 and retired she would be entitled to 50% of 10 years which would be 25% total of his entire service worth of retire pay at his retired amount.


The new federal law passed says that the divorced spouse’s share freezes at the rank when divorced. So if he was a captain when divorced then a LtCol at retirement she only gets 25% of 20 years at the captain rate which is less than the above method.


Since he was divorced prior to this law does it negate it or when he retires will this be the rule they are suppose to go by? He is going back to court and needs to know if they need to spend the effort and money in getting the divorce decree changed to match the federal law. Any help is appreciated. Thanks and Merry Christmas.

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This part was a gem:



There are several difficulties with this new method for dividing the military pension.

Most obviously, it ensures that a former spouse does not receive any benefit from the service member’s post-divorce promotions or pay increases, despite the fact that a service-member who is promoted to E-7 or O-6 post-divorce was presumably supported by the spouse during the marriage when previous ranks were achieved. In other words, you usually cannot get promoted to a senior NCO, general or admiral unless you successfully climbed through the subordinate ranks that occurred during the marriage with the support and encouragement of the spouse


How is that a difficulty, isn't that the whole point? Was there a cutoff for how long you had to be married to get 50% as the divorced spouse? If any judge used the above logic, the argument could and probably has been made against someone that got divorced as a Captain but made it to 20 and retired as an O-6.

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I recently finalized (August) my divorce. 

This ten years = 50% is a myth.  So much goes into this calculation including the opinion of your divorce judge. 


1. Get real smart on this before you get an attorney.  It'll save you some coin.

2. Get an attorney who has some background with this. I was not fortunate enough to live in a military community.  So my lawyer had to get educated.

3. The ex and I agreed on using third-party service to determine how much she gets of my retirement. I have been AD and ANG. The service is supposed to figure all the points/rank/marriage time to come up with a figure.

4. It was her responsibility to employ the service. She has not done that yet so maybe she just forgot. But, it is my money so I'm sure she'll remember. I also get to appeal.

5. Also, the divorce is never finalized. She took me to court, post final hearing, to claim I owed her for arrears.  Mind you this was all settled at final hearing.  So that was a good 600$ out of my pocket. 

Just get real specific in agreements and budget 10k a year for the first five years to give to your lawyer. 

If your lucky your lawyer might invite you to opening of his new pool and put your name on the water slide.

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