Military divorces come with their own set of challenges. While every divorce, military or civilian, is very emotional, military divorces may involve additional rules and requirements for both spouses.
One such rule is the 10/10 rule, which is used to determine the division of military retirement benefits during divorce proceedings. Specifically, the rule applies when a marriage and military service overlap for at least 10 years.
The 10/10 rule
If the marriage and military service overlap for 10 years or more, the non-military spouse may receive a share of the service member’s retirement pay directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), which is the entity responsible for military pay and benefits. The non-military party can receive those payments without having to coordinate with their former spouse.
Couples married for less than 10 years
The 10/10 rule is important because of its direct payment mechanism. If the couple was married for less than 10 years, the non-military spouse may still be eligible for a share of the service member’s retirement benefits, but the non-military spouse must arrange those payments with the service member, likely in a divorce agreement.
As stated above, if the couple has been married for 10 years or more, and that time overlapped with 10 years of military service, the government streamlines the payment process and directly pays the non-military spouse.
Divorce is always a complicated process for military members and civilians alike. However, it is important to consider the differences in military divorce. It is also important to choose an attorney who is familiar with these matters and can protect your interests effectively.