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Military pensions and benefits in divorce cases

When service members and their spouses divorce in Oklahoma, military pensions and benefits may need to be addressed during property division. These assets are subject to division just as civilian retirement accounts and pensions are, although there are a few specific rules that are different.

If a couple was married for at least 10 years that also overlapped with at least 10 years of military service, then the non-military spouse may receive his or her payments directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Courts may still order military pensions and benefits to be divided in cases in which there were not 10 years of marriage overlapping with 10 years of service, however. In those instances, the payments would be made directly from the military spouse to the non-military spouse.

Couples who were married for at least 20 years that overlapped with 20 years of service may also have additional division issues. The non-military spouses in those cases may be entitled to receive full exchange, commissary and medical privileges in addition to their portions of the military pensions. The amount of the pension that will be divided will be according to state law.

Military divorces have some unique concerns that are not shared by civilians who are seeing their marriages coming to an end. In addition to the property division aspects of retirement accounts, there are particular rules regarding jurisdiction and service of process, and people who are on active duty cannot be sued for divorce under federal law. As a result, people who are in this situation may wish to have the representation of an attorney who has particular experience with these matters.

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