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RESOURCES - SINGLE AND DIVORCING PARENTS

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There is no "vesting" of military Retired/Retainer pay. Future Federal employment gives a preference for veterans and allows military time to be "bought". There is no atomatic conversion of military retired/retainer pay if in fact there is any. A miliatry members needs to complete 20 years... one day less than 20, no retired/retainer pay. The government does not cash out or pro rate retired pay like a company or state employees would get from a qualified pension plan if they left employment early. Remember , military retired/retainer pay is NOT a pension.

Marianita, if your former husband left military service before 20 years, he would lose his right (thus your right) to a military pension. However, significantly, he may have gone into a federal job that allows transfer of the military pension rights . . . so that they would count toward another federal pension benefit. You need to learn more about that because it may result in your entitlement to retirement benefits.

Hypo:
Husband (military member) has been in the military for 15 years, same number of years of marriage. Husband and Wife divorce on 15th year of marriage. The divorce decree awards Wife 1/2 of Husband's military retirement pay.

One year after the decree is entered Husband leaves the military (perhaps voluntarily, perhaps because he did something bad and was kicked out) and thereby loses any retirement benefits he would have been entitled to when he reached 20 years of service.

Does this decision mean that Husband would still be responsible to pay Wife 1/2 of what he would have received if his retirement benefits had vested? Or does the above ruling apply only to benefits that are already vested?

Unbelievable.. The courts double talk and manipulate the true intent of the law to fill their coffers. If in their "all knowing" judgement that the military retirement will be compensated from any financial source. No retirement..no source. What a bunch of crooks these appellate judges are. They need to to put on a flak jacket and deploy to the desert.

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