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Divorced military spouses retain some rights and benefits

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2021 | Family Law

If you are a Maryland resident whose spouse is in the military and you decide to seek a divorce, you should learn about your rights and possible benefits. Though there are limitations to these rights, and you must meet certain conditions, these benefits can help you during and after the divorce.

You can access legal assistance

The legal assistance office can provide certain legal services for free. In the case of divorce, both the service member and their spouse can speak to separate attorneys to assist them during the process. As well, you can ask for mediation services to negotiate the terms of the end of the marriage and with issues related to child support, alimony, and other areas. As well, you are entitled to spousal and child support after a divorce.

Military housing and moving costs

Once the service member moves out during the divorce process, the other spouse will have 30 days to move out. If the couple is living overseas in military housing, the military will usually pay the moving costs back to their home state.

Protection for former military spouses

Under The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act, former military spouses can retain some military protections and benefits if they meet the 20/20/20 rule. This rule has 3 basic points, including:

• The service member spouse must have at least 20 years of duty that can be creditable towards retirement
• The marriage must have lasted at least 20 years
• The years of marriage and the years of creditable service must have overlapped for at least 20 years

If those conditions were met, then the former military spouse who does not remarry can retain their medical privileges as well as their commissary, theater and exchange privileges. For marriages that only overlapped 15 years with the creditable service, only TRICARE medical services are available as a benefit.

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