Military Divorces are unique in many ways. Although Louisiana state courts generally apply Louisiana laws, federal statutes are often applied in cases involving spouses who have served in the military.
In 1982, the United States Congress passed the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (SSFSPA). This statute gave Louisiana state courts the right to treat military retirement pay as community property. The “10/10 Rule” was originated in this statute.
According to the “10/10 Rule” if a non-member spouse is married to a military member for at least ten years of creditable military service, that non-member spouse can receive his or her community portion of the member spouse's military retired pay directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).
It is vital to understand that establishing a non-member's community portion of a member spouse's military retirement has to be determined by a Court of proper jurisdiction. After a non-member spouse's portion is determined by judgment, another order must be signed by the Court and subsequently submitted to DFAS with the appropriate forms to effect proper payments to the non-member spouse.
This process is complex. If you are contemplating a divorce that involves military retirement, I would encourage you to consult with a divorce attorney that regularly handles military divorces in the proper jurisdiction for your divorce proceedings.
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