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Understanding the 20/20/20 military divorce rule

If you live in Ohio and are prepping for a divorce from a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may be wondering whether you will retain access to your ex’s military benefits and otherwise be able to support yourself once your divorce becomes final. At the Law Office of Kristen L. Campbell, LLC, we have a firm understanding of the specifics surrounding military divorce, and we have helped many clients on both sides of the equation navigate the complexities associated with ending marriage.

While you may be able to pursue spousal or child support from your spouse following your divorce, you must meet specific criteria if you wish to also retain access to military benefits such as Tricare and use of the military commissary. Ultimately, per Military.com, whether you can still utilize military benefits such as Tricare and commissaries comes down to whether you fit the criteria outlined by the “20/20/20” military divorce rule.

Essentially, the rule asserts that, to continue to utilize benefits after you divorce your military spouse, your marriage must have lasted at least 20 years. Furthermore, your spouse must have served in the military for at least 20 years, and finally, your marriage and that term of service must also have overlapped for at least 20 years.

If you do meet the criteria specified by the 20/20/20 rule, your access to your ex-spouse’s military benefits will end if you ever remarry. Any children you share can typically still access your ex’s military benefits, however, even if your marriage did not last 20 years. More about military divorce is available on our web page.

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