DoD

July 13, 2012

Legal Assistance Tip: The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act

by Capt. Francisco Ochoa
Edwards AFB Legal Office

We are often asked to clarify the rights of a former spouse to a portion of a member’s retirement pay after divorce.

The answer is in the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, which recognizes the right of state courts to distribute military retired pay to a former spouse and provides a method of enforcing these orders through the Department of Defense.

There are three general requirements for a former spouse to be entitled to a portion of a member’s military retired pay.

First, the former spouse must have been married to the member for at least 10 years during which the member performed at least 10 years of creditable military service (the “10/10 rule”).

Second, the former spouse must have been awarded a portion of a member’s military retired pay as property in the final court order granting divorce, dissolution, annulment or legal separation.

And third, the state court must have had jurisdiction over the member by reason of (1) the member’s residence in the territorial jurisdiction of the court (other than because of his military assignment), (2) the member’s domicile in the territorial jurisdiction of the court, or (3) the member’s consent to the jurisdiction of the court, as indicated by the member’s active involvement in the legal proceeding.

If all of these requirements are met, a former spouse can send DFAS a completed and signed application form (DD Form 2293), together with a certified copy of the court order, to obtain his or her portion of the member’s military retired pay. The maximum that can be paid to a former spouse under USFSPA is 50 percent of a member’s disposable military retired pay.

USFSPA also provides a method of enforcing current child support and/or arrears and current alimony awarded in the court order. The 10/10 rule and the jurisdictional requirements do not apply to enforcement of such awards, but a court order still is required. In cases where there are payments of a portion of military retired pay in addition to a garnishment for child support or alimony, the total amount payable cannot exceed 65 percent of the member’s disposable retired pay.

The right to payments under USFPSA terminates upon the death of the member or former spouse, unless the applicable court order provides that the payments terminate earlier.

For more information, contact the Base Legal Office at (661) 277-4310.

Legal assistance attorneys are available 10-11 a.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 3-4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday. Paralegals can provide power of attorney and notary services 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Fridays.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs October 17, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
unity

The beauty of unity

Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton What do cheeseburgers, musical groups, sports teams and the United States of America have in common? If you said “the letter ‘s,’ you’re right, but th...
 
 

Up-and-coming awards

2015 Cooke award nominations sought JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Air Force officials are seeking nominations for the 11th Annual Department of Defense David O. Cooke Excellence in Public Administration Award. This award was created to promote, perpetuate and recognize the type of exceptional contributions David O. Cooke made to the federal service. He...
 

 
Courtesy graphic

AF releases criteria for new service medal

Courtesy graphic Graphic of the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal. WASHINGTON - Air Force officials released nomination criteria for the new Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, following Secretary of the Air...
 
 

Undergrad flying training applications due in December

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – The 2015 undergraduate flying training selection board originally scheduled for Jan. 20-23 will now convene Feb. 17-20 and associated application suspenses have shifted by approximately a month, Air Force Personnel Center officials said Oct. 10. Eligible active duty officers interested in undergraduate flying training must apply by Dec. 19...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Bunch encourages one enterprise mindset at commanders call

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Maj. Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr., Air Force Test Center commander, discussed his six strategic goals for the test center at a commanders call Oct. 14 in the base theater. Maj. Gen. Arnie Bunch, A...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>