How the 10/10 rule impacts military divorce

How the 10/10 rule impacts military divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2022 | Blog, Military Divorce |

The division of assets in any divorce can grow complex. In a military divorce, federal regulations exist that dictate when and how couples should divide certain military-provided assets.

A divorce involving at least one current or former military service member and an ex-spouse, regardless of military status, is often subject to the 10/10 rule.

The 10/10 rule

Military service members receive pension benefits, which are subject to mandatory division between the service member and his or her spouse in a divorce provided the marriage meets certain requirements:

  • The military service member must have served at least 10 years during his or her marriage.
  • The marriage must have lasted at least 10 years.

If the marriage meets these conditions, the former spouse receives a portion of pension benefits directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, or DFAS.

Former military spouse benefits

The 10/10 rule considers pension benefits a marital asset and authorizes direct payments to former military spouses. However, this does not mean ex-spouses in military marriages that lasted for fewer than 10 years will not receive pension benefits. The 10/10 rule simply means the former spouse receives payments straight from DFAS rather than his or her ex-partner.

In many cases, military divorces divide government-granted assets to spouses regardless of marriage length or service duration. The courts determine a former spouse’s eligibility based on a variety of factors but must adhere to state law and federal regulations depending on the benefits distributed and the unique circumstances of the case.