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What the 10/10 rule means for military divorce

Military divorces are different to a normal divorce, because the retirement pay distribution to the former spouse is subject to federal law.

This blog will provide a brief overview on the "10/10" rule, which is a guideline for the retirement pay that will be received by the former spouse.

The 10/10 rule

The federal Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) can help to enforce court orders relating to divorce; however, state courts retain jurisdiction. The 10/10 rule means that, if eligible, a former spouse can receive his or her portion of the retirement pay directly.

How do I know if I'm eligible?

If the state court awards retired pay as part of marital property, a certain percentage of the retirement pay will be defined. The former spouse will qualify if he or she was married for 10 years or longer, and if the service member performed at least 10 years of military service during the period of marriage.

How is the amount of pay calculated?

Former spouses will only be entitled to the "marital portion" of the retirement pay. This means that they are entitled to only the pay that was earned during the period of their marriage. The portion of this amount will be limited to 50 percent of the service member's disposable retirement pay, minus overpayments to the government, forfeitures, Survivor Benefit Plan premiums and pay waived to receive VA disability.

Legal Advice

If you have legal questions about military divorce and the 10/10 rule, it is a good idea to have an attorney provide the answers you need.

Source: Findlaw, "The 10/19 rule and military divorce," Findlaw, accessed Aug. 01, 2017

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