If you are in the military and are considering divorce, you may wonder whether your pension may be impacted as a result. Here’s what you need to know:
Certain Types of Compensation Cannot Be Split In a Military Divorce
According to the American Bar Association, “The law only allows division of ‘disposable retired pay,’ which means the full military pension minus certain deductions.”
The following types of compensation cannot usually be divided between divorcing spouses:
- Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation
- Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC)
- Most military disability retired pay
If you receive any of the aforementioned types of pay, your spouse’s portion of the military pension may be reduced. However, a court could decide to award some of these compensation types for the following:
- Child support
- Other types of family support
Excluding the exceptions listed above, the law allows courts to split a service member’s disposable retired pay.
Colorado State Laws Help Determine Pension Allocations
In the state of Colorado, military retirement payouts are considered marital assets, which means they are subject to division during a divorce proceeding. According to state law, a former military spouses’ share of the pension will be locked in place at its current value when the divorce is filed.
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) states that the 10/10 rule governs how the money is paid out. In order for direct payment from the retired pay center to occur, no less than 10 years of military service overlapping 10 years of marriage is required. If the relationship doesn’t meet the 10/10 rule requirements, then the civilian spouse may obtain a division of retired pay, but may not receive a direct payment from the pay center.