Dividing Military Pensions in Divorce

Divorce is tough on everyone involved. For career military service personnel, one of the most hotly contested assets in divorce may be military retirement pay. Career service members need to know the facts about their military pension and how those retirement benefits might be divided in a divorce.
How many years do you have to be married before you can be awarded pension benefits?

Many people mistakenly believe that the spouse must be married to the service member or retired veteran for 10 years to be awarded pension benefits. That is not true. A state court can award a portion of the disposable military retired pay to the spouse even if the marriage lasted less than a year.

All 50 states treat military pensions as marital or community property. For an Arizona divorce court to divide military retired pay, jurisdictional requirements must first be met. The court must have personal jurisdiction over the service member or veteran based on that state being the service member’s state of residence (not where the service member is stationed). The service member or veteran can also grant the court jurisdiction by his or her agreement.