Divorce for military personnel in California has the same procedures as that of every other person. However, the fact that you are in the military may affect the process in several ways. For one, the divorce may take a longer time if you are on active duty overseas or in a remote area.
Additionally, military couples are governed by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) that guides them into accepting the statutes of the state that address matters such as spousal support, child support, and military retirement pay/pension. The USFSPA allows the state to recognize military pension as property rather than income.
According to millitary.com, the military may provide direct retirement payments to your ex-spouse through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) only if your marriage lasted for ten years, and you have been part of the force for a similar ten years or more. If you have been in the military for ten years and your marriage lasted only for eight years, your ex-spouse will not receive any direct payments from the DFAS.
However, this does not mean that your spouse is ineligible for a portion of your retirement. They may still receive the amount if you included the retirement fees in the settlement agreement. An ex-spouse may only receive 50 percent of the total military retirement payment. When child support is also in consideration, the ex-spouse may take up to 6 percent of the disposable retirement pay. The fees begin going to the ex-spouse three months after filing the order with the DFAS. If you are still active in the military, the payments start 90 days after you retire and are ready to receive your first batch payment.
This article is for educational use only. It is not legal advice.