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Will you need to share a military pension when you divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2022 | Uncontested Divorce

Contemplating the end of your marriage in Missouri means thinking about many large changes in the immediate future. From your living circumstances to your finances, there will be a lot of adjustments to make.

For someone who is a career military servicemember or who has already retired after serving in the military, job benefits, including their pension, can be a source of concern in their divorce proceeding. Both you and your spouse may depend on certain benefits.

Although you may want to keep the divorce process amicable, you still need to ensure that you protect yourself properly when you are near retirement. What can you expect regarding your military pension when how you pursue a divorce in Missouri?

Missouri’s equitable division rule may apply to your pension

One of the reasons people get confused about military pensions is that they believe military rules dictate what happens with those benefits in a divorce. In reality, divorce falls under the jurisdiction of state family courts, not the military.

Missouri state law determines how you divide your assets. An agreement between the two of you can also settle property division matters and allow for an uncontested divorce filing. To achieve that, you have to agree on the best way to divide your property, including the portion of your pension accrued during the marriage.

The military pension rule, known as the 10/10 rule, simply determines whether the military spouse has to make arrangements to share the pension or the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) will make direct payments to the non-military spouse following the divorce.

There are many ways to address a pension in divorce negotiations. For couples that have been married for a long time and recognize that neither spouse is in a position to rejoin the workforce, agreeing to share the pension benefits may be an appropriate solution. For others, their property going to division negotiations may result in one spouse keeping the house instead of asking for part of the pension.

There are many ways for the two of you to address both your current assets and your retirement resources fairly as you prepare to file for an uncontested divorce. Learning more about the rules that apply to Missouri military divorces will help you more quickly reach an appropriate resolution with your spouse while minimizing conflict.