We generally will provide the Marital Settlement agreement and other basic papers within 1-2 business days ONCE FULL payment and all required information IS PROVIDED.

Gumataotao & Pole

military spouse benefits.

Benefits of Spouse in a military divorce in Guam

Upon obtaining a divorce, the former spouse of a service member has a right to receive military benefits so long as he/she meets certain criteria. As the benefits are statutory entitlements, they are automatic and not subject to negotiation or deviation by a divorce court. In other words, the spouse will receive these benefits, even if they are not mentioned in the divorce decree or marital settlement agreement.

Benefits During Separation

Until a  divorce court issues a final decree of dissolution, a civilian spouse separated from a service member retains full military privileges, including ID card, medical, military exchange, commissary, etc. The service member cannot confiscate the spouse's ID card or otherwise suspend the spouse's military privileges.

Military housing is generally only authorized to service members residing with their families, so typically an installation will give a civilian spouse a reasonable time after separation to vacate on-post housing.

Full Benefits ("20/20/20" rule)

Pursuant to 10 U.S. Code § 1072 , a former spouse of a service member is entitled to all military benefits and installation privileges, including medical, commissary, military exchanges (PX/BX), and other amenities such as bowling alleys, theaters, etc. Spouses who meet these criteria are covered:

1. Married to the service member at least 20 years,

2. The service member had at least 20 years of creditable service, and

3. At least a 20-year overlap between the marriage and the military service.

Medical benefits are suspended while the former spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan, and terminated upon the former spouse's remarriage.

Commissary, military exchange (BX/PX) and other installation privileges are suspended while the former spouse is remarried, but reinstated upon the remarriage terminating due to death or dissolution.

Transitional Benefits ("20/20/15" rule)

An unremarried former spouse is entitled to one year of military medical care only (no commissary, military exchange, etc.), so long as he/she is not covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan and meets these criteria:

1. Married to the service member at least 20 years,

2. The service member had at least 20 years of creditable service, and

3. At least a 15-year overlap between the marriage and the military service.

Continued Health Care through COBRA

Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), Tricare will provide a divorced civilian spouse with 36 months of health insurance.  They call it the Continued Health Care Benefit Program.  At $933 per quarter for individuals, and $1996 for families, the program is far from free.  However, if the civilian spouse has a preexisting medical condition, it could be worthwhile.

You have to move fast to enroll - apply with a DD Form 2837 Continued Health Care Benefit Program Application within 60 days of the divorce, and mail it in with proof of your eligibility and a check for the first quarter of coverage.

Victims of Domestic Violence

This is not technically a "former spouse" benefit, since no divorce is required. Under 10 U.S. Code § 1059 (as implemented by DOD Instruction 1342.24), a spouse or dependent child (under 18, or under 23 if in college) is entitled to receive transitional compensation and benefits if the service member is discharged for abuse (i.e. domestic violence or sexual assault) against the spouse or child.

As of December 2004, monthly payments are $993 for a spouse, and $247 for each child, and the dependents are entitled to commissary and exchange benefits. The payments are pegged to the level of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Dependency and Indemnity Compensation established by 38 U.S. Code § 1311, and last for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of the lesser of 36 months or the service member's length of service.

Pursuant to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA), 10 U.S. Code § 1408(h), the spouse is also entitled to a portion of the service member's retired pay if the service member was eligible for retirement when the offense was committed.

The spouse is not entitled to receive the payments while a court-martial punishment of forfeitures is suspended. Furthermore, payments to a spouse terminate upon the spouse's remarriage, or if the service member resides in the same household as the spouse.

The spouse should contact the victim-witness coordinator for the service member's installation for more information about this benefit (often located in the JAG office).

Children of the Relationship

Children and stepchildren of service members retain full military benefits while unmarried and under 22.