Because dividing Military pension can be a hotly contested issue, it is smart to know these 10 basics.
1. You don't have to be married 10 years to get it.
2. It's not automatic, you have to have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to get it.
3. Timing is everything. If you don't preseve this claim prior to an absolute divorce, you lose it! An experienced attorney will let you know how to preserve this claim.
4. The Court has to have jurisdiction to divide the military pension. It's not necessarily the State where you are stationed, but beware, you may indirectly consent to jurisdiction by doing certain acts. Talk to an experience attorney to avoid these mistakes.
5. Defense Finance (DFAS) will not directly pay retirement unless you are married at least 10 years of the military service. You will need a Court order for another method of payment if you don't qualify for direct pay.
6. Military Benefits under the 20/20/20 rule should be discussed with a knowledgeable attorney.
7. Military Benefits under the 20/20/15 rule also important to be discussed.
8. If you decide to do a Separation Agreement, make sure these items are addressed.
9. In 2017 a new way of calculating retirement came into effect. Talk to an experienced lawyer about how this affects you.
10. Consult with an attorney experienced in Military Pension.