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Frequently Asked Questions – Military Pension

Can the spouse touch my military pension?

As a general rule yes.  The spouse is entitled to 50% of the portion earned during the marriage; note that this is not necessarily 50% of the entire pension.

Doesn’t my spouse have to be married to me for 10 years first?

No.  That is a common misunderstanding.  For couples who were married more than 10 years, the military pay center may pay the spouse their share, after the tax adjustments, directly to them on request.  If not requested or the parties were married less than 10 years, the service-member will have to write a check each month to pay the appropriate amount each month to the former spouse.  That means a spouse may still be entitled to a small portion of the pension even on marriages shorter than 1 year.

I heard the spouse can not touch my VA disability money, can they?

They can’t get a specific percentage or dollar amount designated to come out of your VA disability but it does qualify as income to you and therefore the amount is includable in your total income computation when it comes to calculating alimony and child support.  The Court is just prohibited from insisting that the service-member pay the obligation specifically out of the VA proceeds.  As a result the Court will just state the obligation and leave it to the service-member to decide out of what accounts he will actually pay it.

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