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When are you eligible for benefits in a military divorce?

| May 13, 2021 | Divorce

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces put their lives on the line every day, and military members and their families enjoy considerable benefits because of the military member’s sacrifices. If you are in a marriage with a member of the military and that marriage ends, you may have questions about whether you may continue to take advantage of military benefits after your divorce.

Whether you may continue to utilize military benefits, such as TRICARE health insurance or military commissaries, after divorcing a servicemember depends on several factors, including whether your situation meets the criteria outlined by the 20/20/20 rule.

Understanding the 20/20/20 rule

To retain access to military benefits after a divorce from a service member, your marriage to that service member must have lasted 20 years or longer. Furthermore, your spouse must have spent at least 20 years in the military, and your marriage and your spouse’s service term also have to have overlapped by 20 years or more.

Identifying exceptions to 20/20/20 rule

You may be able to utilize TRICARE for another year after your divorce becomes final if certain circumstances exist. To do so, your marriage still has to have lasted 20 years and your spouse’s service term must also have been at least 20 years. However, your marriage and the service term only have to overlap by 15 years for you to use TRICARE for one more year after your divorce.

Keep in mind that if you do meet the criteria outlined by the 20/20/20 rule, remarrying makes you ineligible to continue to use military benefits.

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