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Understanding your military benefits after divorce

When you are a military spouse going through a divorce, there are going to be a great deal of changes. These changes will affect the personal dynamics of your family as well as your finances and benefits.

Although a military divorce works just the same as any other divorce, there are certain plans and benefits that are going to change. Therefore it is important to understand how these changes will affect you and your family in the future.

The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)

When you are going through a military divorce, your former spouse can elect for former spouse coverage under the SBP. This means that you would be still designated as the survivor, unless one former spouse remarries when under the age of 55.

Military retirement pay

Military retirement plans are in fact regarded as marital property. This means that they are among the assets that you must divide between you and your spouse when going through a divorce. The state law in Colorado will determine how this asset will be distributed, however.

Child benefits

Any children that are legally dependent on the military spouse will continue to be fully eligible for military benefits. These benefits will remain in place until the child marries or turns 22.

What happens if we separate but do not divorce?

Basic benefits will still remain in place if you decide to separate as a couple. This includes TRICARE, as well as ID use and basic housing allowance.

If you are going through a military divorce and are concerned about the benefits that you may lose, it is important to conduct thorough research and inform yourself about Colorado state law.

Source: Military Benefits, "Military Benefits after Divorce," accessed Feb. 23, 2018

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