Explaining the 10-10 Rule for a Massachusetts Military Divorce

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Military Divorce |

In 1982, a law was passed called the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), which gave Massachusetts and other state divorce courts the ability to treat military retirement pay as marital property that can be divided between the spouses.

The 10/10 rule, which is part of the USFSPA, is often misunderstood in its scope.

Many people mistakenly believe that military spouses are eligible to receive a division of military retirement pay only if they were married to their spouse for at least 10 years and that 10 of those years were “creditable” military service years. This is not true.

Here is how the 10/10 rule works:

If you were married for at least 10 years to your spouse, and during that time your spouse performed creditable military service for at least 10 years, you can have your portion of the divided military retirement pay sent to you directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) instead of from your former spouse.

All the 10/10 rule has to do with is where your check comes from — directly from DFAS or sent to you by your ex-spouse after he receives his monthly payment. It has nothing to do with whether you are eligible to have the retirement pay divided.

Should you be in the midst of a military divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.


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