How To Get Ex Spouse Military Retirement

Former Spouses of retired Military personnel can learn how to get ex spouse military retirement support. Congress passed The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) in 1982 following the United States Supreme Court’s 1982 decision in McCarty v. McCarty. State courts have the right to treat military retirement pay as marital property and split it equally between former spouses. In order to receive spousal support from a former spouses Military retirement fund, there are a few essential requirements and qualifications that should be met.

  1. Meet the 10/10 Requirement to Receive an Ex’s Military Retirement. In order to receive direct payments from your former spouse’s military retirement under the USFSPA, the former spouse must have served at least ten years of service creditable towards retirement eligibility. Additionally, the former spouse must have been married to the former military service member for at least ten years or more during the time the former service member served at least ten years of creditable service. This requirement does not apply to the Court’s right to divide military retired pay, but only to the ability of the former spouse to get direct payments from Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).
  2. Comply with USFSPA Jurisdiction. The USFSPA’s jurisdiction requirement is another essential factor that must be met in order to get ex spouse military retirement and it can be tricky. If the jurisdiction requirements are not met, your application could be rejected. For a court to have the right to split military retired pay, the USFSPA requires that the court have “C-4” jurisdiction over the military member in one of three ways. In some states simply calling into the courts is sufficient for confirming consent. In other states, the former service member must be a resident of the State for reasons other than military assignment or the court must determine the member was domiciled in the state in question in the divorce decree.
  3. Obtain a Certified Court Order and Complete a DD Form 2293. The courts will issue a certified order specifying either a dollar amount or percentage of disposable retired pay to be awarded to the former service member’s spouse. Within 90 days after the court orders issuance, the ex-spouse must submit a copy of the certified court order to the DFAS along with a complete application for Former Spouse Payments from Retired Pay, a DD Form 2293 complete with the former spouses social security number and contact information. Mail or fax the form to:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service
    Cleveland Center-L
    P.O. Box 998002 Cleveland, OH 44199-8002
    Phone: (216) 522-5301 / Fax: (216) 522-6960

    Payments should begin after 90 days after effective service of the application. This 90 day requirement provides enough time for DFAS to process applications and provide the former service member with the USFSPA’s requirements.

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