Military Pension: What Happens to It in Divorce?

Husband and Wife marry.

Wife enters the armed forces.

Wife decides to make a career in military service.

Husband and Wife travel extensively for Wife’s career.

Twenty years go by.

Wife retires.

Wife begins to collect her military pension.

Husband files for divorce.

Husband seeks half of Wife’s military pension.

Wife, shocked and angry, vigorously opposes.

After all, she earned that pension. It’s hers.

As bitter a pill as it may be for Wife to swallow, that’s not the law.

A military pension, like any retirement account or benefit accrued during the course of a marriage, is considered marital property.

As such, under Florida divorce law governing property division in divorce, a military pension will be equitably divided.

In Florida, that means there is a rebuttable presumption that the portion of the pension accrued during the marriage will be equally divided.

Really, just like any other property or assets acquired, earned or vested during the marriage.

(But it may still “hit” people differently.)

Perhaps because of the special demands of life in the service, the divorce rate among service members is higher than among nonmilitary couples, and even greater when the spouse in the military is the wife and the husband is not in the military.

Read more in this Las Vegas KLAS TV 8 CBS article: I-Team: Military pension treated like community property in divorce