Military Retirement Pay and Divorce in Arizona
Military Retirement Pay and Divorce Explained
If you or your spouse is a member of the military and one or both of you is considering divorce and want to know about military retirement pay and divorce in Arizona, you may have a lot of questions that don’t seem to fit the general mold. For instance, how is military retirement benefits divided during a divorce in Arizona?
The Uniform Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act gives each state the right to treat military retirement benefits as “marital property.” While it does not divide military retirement benefits in a divorce mandatory, USFSPA recognizes that state courts have the right to distribute military retirement benefits in a divorce in Arizona to a former spouse in military divorces. It also provides a method of enforcing the orders related to the distribution of military retirement benefits 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 divorce decree or decree of legal separation. It is also important to note that while the family court system intends to divide marital assets “fairly and equitably” that does not necessarily mean the court will order an equal division of the military retirement benefits.
Division of Military Retirement Pay in a Divorce
Various factors will be taken into consideration, and all will vary depending upon the specifics of the case. The portion of military retirement benefits designated as “marital property” can be defined in fraction form with the top number (numerator) designating the total number of months or years 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. Determining if there will be any retirement benefits and, if so, the exact amount of military retirement benefits a former spouse may receive as a marital asset may not be possible until the service member retires from the military.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about military retirement pay and divorce in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about community property laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.