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4 Types of military benefits that can end after divorce

For civilian spouses who are considering divorce from a military member, the loss of benefits may be a huge concern. Military benefits provide healthcare, retirement funds and other privileges that relieve huge financial burdens.

Here are four types of military benefits that may be at risk if you are getting a military divorce.

Tricare healthcare

Tricare is a health care program of the United States Department of Defense Military Health System. Those who meet the “20/20/20 rule” are entitled to lifetime medical coverage through Tricare. Those who meet the “20/20/15” rule may receive partial benefits.

Ex-military spouses who do not meet the “20/20/20” or “20/20/15” rule may still be eligible for the Continued Health Care Benefit Program if they are:

  • Enrolled as a dependent in an approved healthcare program
  • Not remarried by the age of 55
  • Entitled to a share of the servicemember’s military retired pay

Otherwise, your ex-spouse can disenroll you from DEERS, to terminate you from Tricare eligibility or end your coverage after the divorce.

Regardless of whether a civilian parent retains Tricare, the child of an active duty service member can keep the benefits until the age of 21 or up to 23 if the child enters college directly out of high school.

Retirement funds

Under the “10/10/10 rule” an ex can receive a portion of the military member's retired pay.

However, the Maryland divorce court may still treat military retired pay as marital property that is subject to division regardless of how long the marriage lasted.

Military ID card

Those who meet the 20/20/20 rule can keep their military ID, along with their access to the military exchange and other commissary or base privileges.

Otherwise, the military ID can only be used as a form of photo identification.

Dependent children, however, can keep and use military dependent ID cards. The child would need the military parent or another ID card holder to use the commissary though.

VA disability payments

VA disability payments are exempt from division during a divorce. An ex-spouse would not be able to claim any portion of this pay.


If you may be without these benefits, it’s time to create a plan. An attorney can help set expectations for how your military divorce may be conducted and what your assets might look like in the end.

Because of Maryland’s equitable distribution statute, spouses may receive what is deemed a “fair” amount, rather than half of the assets. A lawyer can help you fight for what you’re entitled to.

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