If you are married to someone in the military and thinking about getting a divorce, you are probably wondering if you will still be able to receive health care benefits. The answer to this lies in The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA).
The USFPSA makes clear when you can and cannot retain your right to TRICARE. The relevant section of the act is called the 20/20/20 rule. To retain your TRICARE benefits, you need to meet three conditions:
- Your spouse has at least 20 years of creditable service.
- You have been married to them for at least 20 years.
- You were married to them for at least 20 of the years in which they were serving.
If you meet the requirements of the 20/20/20 rule, you will continue to receive TRICARE for life — as long as you do not remarry or get health care from your job.
The 20/20/15 rule can be applied if you meet the first two conditions of the 20/20/20 rule, but only fifteen years of your marriage was during the time they were serving. If this is the case, you are entitled to TRICARE for one year after your divorce.
If you do not meet even the 20/20/15 rule, then you will not be entitled to TRICARE if you get divorced.
If you are looking at getting divorced from someone who is in the military, then health benefits are just one of the things you need to consider. An attorney with personal experience being married to a military spouse will understand your special situation and fight to ensure your years of military sacrifice were not in vain.