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When are you eligible for benefits in a military divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2021 | Divorce

When you are not in the military and divorce a servicemember in Alabama, you may have concerns about how much your life might change in the aftermath. You may also wonder whether you might be able to still take advantage of certain benefits reserved for military families, such as TRICARE health insurance or military commissaries, once your marriage ends.

According to, most non-servicemembers are not able to continue to use military benefits once their marriages to servicemembers end. However, there is one exception. If you and your situation meet the criteria dictated by the 20/20/20 rule, you should be able to retain access to military benefits even after your marriage ends.

Meeting the 20/20/20 rule criteria

To be able to utilize the military commissary and military health insurance after your marriage ends, the union must have lasted at least 20 years. Also, your military husband or wife’s term of service also had to meet or exceed 20 years. On top of that, your marriage and your spouse’s service term also must have overlapped by 20 years or longer.

Failing to meet the 20/20/20 rule criteria

Unless the above criteria apply to your situation, you are not able to use military benefits once your marriage to a service member ends. However, if you and your military spouse had kids together, your kids still have access to military benefits, regardless of whether your marriage to their other parent lasted 20 years.

If you do qualify for military benefits based on the 20/20/20 rule, know that remarrying is going to disqualify you from using them any longer.

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