It is not easy to come to terms with the fact that a divorce may exist in the near future for you. Of course, you will also have to deal with the related stressors and anxieties of divorce, such as wondering what will happen to your benefits after the split.
As the spouse of a military service member, you have some protections in place that should allow you to adapt to life after divorce as smoothly as possible.
What Tricare benefits do you keep?
Military.com discusses some of your options as the ex-spouse of a member of the military services. First, understand that the duration of your marriage and the duration of your spouse’s service in the military will impact the benefits you have. Additionally, courts will look at the amount of time that your marriage and their service overlapped.
In order to continue using military facilities and keep your Tricare benefits, you must have a marriage of at least 20 years, with 20 years of overlap with a period of service that lasted at least 20 years.
If your marriage lasted at least 20 years and had 15 years of overlap with a 20 year period of military service, you can hold onto these benefits for up to a year after your divorce. If you do not fall into either of these categories, you can apply for the DOD Continued Health Care Benefit Program. This allows you 36 months of temporary coverage as you search for new coverage.
What about retirement?
You also no longer have access to the retirement pay your spouse may receive, but you can receive a portion after your divorce. To receive this benefit, you must have had a 10-year marriage minimum with 10 years of service on the part of your spouse. You can also receive child and spousal support, as well.