Hartley Law Office, LLC

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What is the 20/20/20 military divorce rule?

So, you are a resident of Ohio and married to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, and a divorce is in your near future. Odds are, you have a lot of important decisions to make, from where you will live to what will happen to any children you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse may share. A common question asked by many military spouses heading for divorce is what will happen to military benefits once the divorce is officially final.

Per Military.com, to continue to receive military benefits such as Tricare, and to be able to continue to use military commissaries after your divorce, you must meet certain conditions dictated by what is known as the 20/20/20 rule. Essentially, this rule states that, to continue to receive military benefits post-divorce, your marriage must have lasted at least 20 years, your spouse must have served at least 20 years, and your marriage and the service term must have overlapped by 20 years.

If you and your spouse do not meet all three of these conditions, you will no longer have access to military benefits once your divorce becomes final. There is one possible exception to this rule.  If you and your spouse have at least a 20-year marriage and your spouse served at least 20 years in the military, you may be eligible for one year of Tricare if your marriage and your spouse’s service overlapped by at least 15 years. Even if you meet these criteria, however, your Tricare access will end one year after your divorce is official.

This information about military benefits after divorce is meant to inform you, but please do not consider it a replacement for legal advice. 

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