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The federal government put into place the Former Spouse Protection Act to offer certain benefits to former military spouses. It also created certain rights that you have during a divorce situation, and allowed for the Kentucky court to handle your divorce in a similar way to civilian divorces. 

According to the National Military Family Association, the Former Spouse Protection Act provides you with the ability to keep some privileges and access to your ex-spouse’s retirement pay. You should note when it comes to keeping benefits and privileges, you need to be a 20/20/20 or 20/20/15 family. This means you meet the following criteria: Your marriage took place during 20 or 15 years of your ex-spouse’s military service. Your marriage lasted at least 20 years, and your spouse earned 20 years of serve credit towards retirement pay. 

You must meet all those criteria to qualify to keep military benefits after your divorce. You may retain medical benefits and keep your military ID and the benefits it offers. If you do not meet the qualifications, you may keep medical coverage for a limited time through the Continued Health Care Benefit Program from the Department of Defense. 

The FSPA does not automatically provide you with a right to your ex-spouse’s retirement pay. However, it does allow the state to consider it as marital property. You may receive up to 50% of the disposable pay, which depends on military financial deductions. You may receive this as direct pay from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. This information is for education and is not legal advice.