Will I lose my military privileges in a divorce?

If your spouse is in the military and you are getting a divorce, you may wonder how this will impact your privileges. There are certain things that you may be accustomed to as a military spouse, but you likely will have changes in your access once you end your marriage.

Spousal benefits have strict rules, and once you end the relationship, you no longer will have rights to certain ones.

Keeping benefits and military ID

It is possible to keep your benefits after a divorce, but you must meet specific requirements. The first option is the 20/20/20 rule. Under this guideline, you can maintain your benefits if your marriage lasted for 20 years, your spouse had 20 years of service, and for 20 years of your marriage, your spouse was in the military.

Another option is 20/20/15. Under this rule, you can qualify for partial benefits if your marriage lasted 20 years, your spouse was in the military for 20 years, and for 15 years of your marriage, your spouse was in the military.

Another partial benefits option

The military is rather strict in extending benefits to former spouses. The two rules for service and marriage time are generally the only way you can get benefits. But there is one exception for domestic abuse. If your spouse lost retirement benefits due to a domestic violence situation, you may be able to get partial benefits after your divorce.

Regardless of what rule you qualify under, if you ever remarry, you will lose all benefits from the military. You must qualify under one of the three rules. The court cannot grant you benefits unless you qualify through the guidelines set by the military.