Hartley Law Office, LLC

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What is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act?

If you are involved in a military divorce in Ohio, then you should know and understand the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act. The USFSPA, according to Defense Finance and Accounting Services, gives you the right as a spouse of a military personnel the chance to be awarded a portion of your spouse's military retired pay in your divorce settlement.

Do note, though, the court is given the right to do this but not required to do it. A court can refuse to divide the military retired pay as part of your marital property. In addition, a court only has the ability to adhere to the USFSPA if your spouse lives in the state or has given his or her consent. Residency is not achieved due to military stationing, though.

To qualify for the USFSPA, you must meet certain requirements. You must have been married during 10 years of your spouse's military service. You also must have been married at least 10 years in total. This is usually referred to as the 10/10 requirement. There are also limits to how much money you can get. You are entitled to up to 50 percent of the disposable earnings. Payments should begin within 90 days of a court order and are made through the DFAS. Also note these payments are taxable, so you will need to include them when filing income taxes each year.

If your former spouse dies, you will no longer be able to receive payments under the USFSPA. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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