What is Different about a Military Divorce?

Davis Upton Palumbo, LLC House Exceeding Expectations

This week, Karen Wagner helps to explain one of the key ways that military separation or divorce is different from a civilian divorce. There are many differences in military divorce to understand but the 20/20/20 rule is very important.

20/20/20 Rule in Military Divorce

She explains the details of the 20/20/20 rule in a military divorce. With this rule, the non-service member spouse has the opportunity to get lifetime benefits, use of the commissary and the exchange if they qualify.

To qualify you have to:

  • Be married for 20 years
  • Your service member has to have at least 20 years creditable for retirement pay
  • The 20 years of marriage and the 20 creditable years have to overlap
20/20/20 Rule Example

For example, if you are married for 24 years but your spouse only has 9 creditable years, you don’t qualify for the 20/20/20 rule in a military divorce. You might get some pension benefits, but you will not have lifetime benefits through TRICARE.

This is just one example of the differences between military separation and divorce and the civilian process. It can get very confusing and you will want to have a lawyer guide you through a military divorce.

At Davis, Upton & Palumbo LLC, we know that Family and domestic matters can be stressful, contentious and emotional. We also know that our clients need an attorney that is prepared to help them face all the legal challenges. If you want to learn more about our Family Law services, click here or contact us today!


These videos are for general information only and are not intended to address your specific legal situation or offer legal advice. Viewing these videos does not create an attorney/client relationship.