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.


 
 

 
DoD
Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

F-35 program ‘on right track,’ director says

Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway for a training exercise at Nellis AFB, Nev., April 15, 2015. Mai...
 
 
DoD
aafes-catalog

Exchange special sizes catalog helps military shoppers look their best

Soldiers, Airmen and their families can put some spring in their step with the latest fashions in special sizes from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s latest catalog. The 20-page Special Sizes guide is decked out wi...
 
 
DoD

Salute military children during the Month of the Military Child

In April, the military community comes together to highlight the contributions, bravery and patriotism of its youngest members.  The Month of the Military Child recognizes the more than 1.9 million U.S. military children that brave the unique challenges of military life. Often military kids face back-to-back deployments of a parent, or; they may have to...
 

 
DoD
aafes

The whole family can join for chance to win $3,000 in prizes

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is encouraging shoppers worldwide to hop to it and take a crack at $3,000 in prizes. With the Patriot Family Easter Egg Hunt Contest, shoppers can search for clues at the Edwards Exchan...
 
 
DoD

Pay dates increase for civilians in 2015

Civilian employees will have 27 pay dates in 2015 compared to the usual 26, so some employees might need to adjust their Thrift Savings Plan contribution elections to receive the maximum agency matching contributions for 2015. The Internal Revenue Code imposes a limit each year on the amount that an employee can contribute annually to...
 
 
DoD
secdef

Carter takes office as 25th Defense secretary

Ash Carter became the 25th secretary of Defense Feb. 17, after having served previously as deputy defense secretary, defense acquisition chief and assistant secretary for global strategic affairs. President Barack Obama nominat...
 




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>