Marital Property for the Non-Military Spouse – Pension Share in Short Term Marriages

| Feb 9, 2015 | Military Divorce |

Even with a short marriage of say, five years, the pension share is worth something.  Don’t waive it without getting a trade.

Assume that the husband is a Sergeant First Class John Doe, in the pay grade of E-7, with 20 years of service, who will get an estimated $1,600 a month retired pay if he retires at the 20 year mark, which many service members do.  

If there were only five years of marriage, his ex-wife would get 50% of 5/20 of $1,600, or $200 a month.  If she is 40 years old when he retires and he were to live another 35 years, this would be worth $2,400 a year, or $84,000.

Lessons to be learned – If the servicemember wants a pension waiver, he or she will have to ask for it and pay for it.  If the non-military spouse is asked to waive military pension division, he or she should do it for a reasonable, fair trade.

Consulting with an attorney knowledgeable in all aspects of military divorce law can alleviate the financial tensions faced by non-military spouses.

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