Military retirement benefits and divorce

| Oct 18, 2017 | divorce, Firm News

Military families in Kentucky have their share of stresses and strains. When a couple decides to end their marriage, the process of negotiating a fair settlement can sometimes be complicated by military rules and benefit options.

The military has introduced the Blended Retirement System, which provides additional Thrift Savings Plan matching contributions, as well as continuation bonuses, along with a reduced pension. Sorting through the details of this plan has proven challenging for military members and their spouses, and may present additional issues in a current or past divorce.

Military pensions and retirement funds are usually divided between spouses in a divorce in accordance with state and military law. When there are changes in a plan, there can be difficulties determining the value of the plan and how it would need to be divided. In the case of divorces that of already been finalized, further complications can arise as former spouses may not be entitled to new contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan and may find that the value of the pension has decreased due to the terms of BRS. it may take some time for the military and the courts to determine how the new rules will apply to divorced and divorcing couples.

Service members and military spouses who are facing the end of a marriage may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney who is familiar with military law. Counsel can review the client’s case and make recommendations regarding property division, support payments, and child custody and visitation. A settlement agreement could then be prepared and submitted to the appropriate tribunal for its approval.