Military Divorce Laws in AZ

If you or your spouse is a member of the military and one or both of you is considering divorce, you may have a lot of questions regarding a military divorce in Arizona. For instance, how is military retirement pay divided during divorce?

The Uniform Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act gives each state the right to treat military retirement as marital property. While it does not make the division of military pay mandatory during a divorce, USFSPA recognizes that an Arizona court has the right to distribute military retired pay to a spouse or ex-spouse involved in a military divorce. It also provides a method of enforcing the orders related to the distribution of military retirement pay through the Department of Defense.

To utilize USFSPA, there must have been a portion of the former spouse’s military retirement pay awarded in the final Arizona Divorce Decree or Decree of Legal Separation. It’s also important to note that while the family court system intends to divide marital assets “equitably” that does not necessarily mean an equal distribution. Various factors will be taken into consideration and all will vary depending upon the specifics of the case. The portion of military retirement pay designated as marital community property can be defined in fraction form with the top number (numerator) designating the total number of months or years that the two parties were married during the time of military service and the lower number (denominator) being the total number of months/years of military service.

Note: Determining the exact amount of military retirement pay that will be designated as a community property asset may not possible until the service member is retired.

If you have additional questions about divorce in the military or handling military retire ment pay as a community asset in your Arizona divorce, contact the Scottsdale divo rce attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC today.