The end of a marriage is difficult for any couple, but there are unique factors that can make a military divorce especially complicated. In order to achieve an outcome that is reasonable and beneficial, Pennsylvania military personnel or spouses may find it beneficial to seek assistance from a legal ally with experience in this particular area of family law.
Settling retirement issues
One of the main reasons that a military divorce is more complex than a civilian divorce is the division of a military pension. There are a number of factors that determine if this type of retirement account is actually marital property and how the two spouses will share the asset. Consider how the following could impact the outcome of your case:
- Length of marriage: A nonmilitary spouse may be entitled to as much as half of the military pension if the couple was married for 10 years or longer.
- Years of service before marriage: If the military spouse served for a significant amount of time before getting married, a nonmilitary spouse may only be entitled to a small portion of the pension.
- Years until retirement: If the military spouse has a number of years to go until retirement, the nonmilitary spouse may be entitled to a smaller portion of the eventual full pension amount or only a portion of what is already in the pension.
Due to the many issues that factor into the appropriate division of assets in a military divorce, some couples may find that it is best to avoid dividing these assets in lieu of another favorable agreement. One spouse may offer other savings, additional spousal support or a lump sum of money in order to avoid navigating the division of this complicated asset.
Protecting your rights in a military divorce
A nonmilitary spouse may not receive his or her portion of military pension until after the military spouse applies for retirement. Regardless of the timeline or the length of the marriage, the nonmilitary spouse retains the right to seek a portion of these retirement savings if that individual believes he or she has a rightful claim to a share.
Whether you are seeking to protect your pension as a member of the military or want to protect your future after divorcing a military spouse, you would be wise to seek a complete understanding of your rights and how you may lawfully protect your future interests during the difficult process of a military divorce.