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When are you eligible for benefits in a military divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Divorce |

As someone who is in a Maryland marriage with a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may have concerns about whether you might be able to still take advantage of certain military benefits once your marriage ends. Whether you may still use TRICARE health insurance, military commissaries for shopping and other perks reserved for military members and their families depends on several circumstances, including how long your marriage lasted.

Per, whether your situation meets the criteria dictated by the 20/20/20 military divorce rule determines if you may continue to use military benefits when you are no longer married to a service member.

Meeting the 20/20/20 rule

Under the terms of the 20/20/20 rule, your ability to use benefits reserved for military members after a divorce depends on three distinct circumstances. First, your marriage to the service member must have been at least 20 years in length. Second, your ex must have devoted at least 20 years of his or her life to military service. Third, your spouse’s term of service and your marriage had to overlap by 20 years or longer. Only then may you continue to use military benefits after a divorce from a service member.

Failing to meet the 20/20/20 rule

If you do not meet the 20/20/20 rule criteria, you do not retain access to military benefits once your divorce becomes final. However, in some cases, you may be able to secure one additional year of TRICARE health insurance coverage if your situation meets certain terms.

Even if you are unable to continue to use military benefits after a split, you may still be able to secure alimony or child support to help support yourself or your kids after divorce.