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Military pensions bring extra confusion to divorce

The financial matters related to divorce can be difficult, and a spouse's service in the military can make things even more complicated. One of the things that influences many to withstand the challenges is the promise of a sizable military pension, which can become central if a divorce happens and the couple faces the often sensitive process of property division. With the number of military families in Texas, there are many here who face these issues firsthand.

The law regarding military divorce is that a spouse is entitled to half of the value accrued by the pension during the time the couple was married. However, actually getting this property division to happen can get tricky. The Wall Street Journal outlines some basic tips and points about military divorce and the financial aspects of this more complex process.

If a couple's marriage lasted more than 10 years, the non-military spouse will be tied to the pension automatically. But for those Texas couples whose marriages have lasted shorter than a decade, requests for an ex-spouse's share of the pension need to be filed within a limited timeframe, or else the right to that portion of the pension could be lost.

Another important point is that when divorcing spouses live in different states, any legal claims regarding dividing military pension benefits need to be filed in the state where the military spouse resides. It's also crucial that the death benefit portion of the pension is filed at the same time, or the ex-spouse risks losing a major income source if the military spouse dies.

Between varying states of residence, differences between military and civilian and various time limits that must be met, those involved in a military divorce can use all of the legal guidance they can get in the event that their marriage comes to an end. Military divorces are on the rise in this country, and with something as valuable as a pension and overall financial stability on the line, working with an experienced divorce attorney is a must.

Source

The Wall Street Journal: "Divorce: Splitting Up a Rich Military Pension," Ellen E. Schultz, Mar. 9, 2012

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