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Military Benefits

A number of different benefits may come into play in a family law matter if either of the parties is a member of the military. If there are children, child support can be established based on the military member's pay. This pay can fluctuate based on whether they are deployed or at home. Their pay also generally includes additional allotments for housing, clothing, etc. which are to be counted as income for support purposes. Each branch of the military has their own regulations to establish an interim support obligation if a family is separated. Alternatively, they will honor a court order established through local family court.

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Retirement benefits of a military member should be examined in a divorce matter. A spouse is

entitled to their share of the military member's vested pension no matter how insignificant. Under the 10 year rule, where the parties have been married for 10 years and the servicemember has accumulated 10 years of service, DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Services) can pay the spouse directly. When the 10 year rule has not been met the servicemember will be responsible to pay the spouse themselves. In order to continue to receive benefits after the death of the servicemember, a Survivor Benefit Plan must be elected.

Former military members may be eligible to receive a number of different veterans benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Possible benefits include disability compensation, pension benefits, life insurance, educational benefits and more. Receipt of veterans benefits can be counted as income for support purposes, however, veterans benefits cannot be divided as an asset in a divorce case.

Click here to read more about military service and custody.

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