Dividing Military Pensions In Virginia

Most people understand that in a civilian divorce, Virginia courts often divide retirement benefits and pensions. These are often significant assets. Individuals who serve in the military (and their spouses) frequently have concerns about how military retirement pay and other benefits are viewed in a divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act authorizes states to treat military retired pay as marital property, and so it is an asset that must be addressed in a divorce.

The first step in a military divorce is to analyze what benefits may be available. At Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. in Fairfax, our lawyers will evaluate whether a service member has amassed sufficient points to be eligible for retirement benefits, and the extent of the benefits that may be available. In cases involving a retired service member, the analysis is fairly straightforward. Before retirement, determining the ultimate value of benefits requires a more complete review.

Understanding The Interplay Between Virginia Law And Federal Rules

When a military couple goes through divorce, property division is actually a function of state law. Virginia is an equitable division state, meaning that courts will work to craft a fair and equitable division of the property based the individual circumstances in each case. Our lawyers are skilled in protecting the financial interests of clients. In addition is a full review of the assets, our lawyers are well-versed in drafting orders consistent with federal rules and procedures to ensure that the government will recognize the validity of an order dividing a military pension.

In addition to retirement pay, our attorneys will analyze eligibility for other potential benefits that may be subject to equitable division, including:

  • Military medical, health care, commissary and exchange privileges
  • Military housing allowance benefits
  • Pay based upon the military survivor benefits plan

It is critical to work with a lawyer with substantial knowledge of interplay between military rules and state laws in dividing property in a military divorce. To speak with a knowledgeable lawyer in Fairfax, call 703-591-7475 or send us a message online to request your confidential consultation.