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Understanding military benefits and the USFSPA-Part II

A divorce, be it civil or military, has financial implications that affect the issues of spousal support, child support, and property division. For military divorces, state and federal authorities have put several mechanisms in place to deal with financial matters. Alexandria, Virginia, residents will be interested to know that the law provides extensive benefits to former spouses of service members.

Military spouses are entitled to certain military benefits. One of these benefits may include applying for direct payments of court-ordered retirement pay. According to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA), an ex-wife or husband can apply for direct payments by filling out and signing the application form identified as DD form 2293.

A court order authorizing the payment also needs to be provided within three months of submitting the application. An individual may get more information about this from the ASA Dix Retirement Services Office by calling (609) 562-2666. The individual may also contact the Department of Finance and Accounting (DFAS) at 1-888-332-7411. The completed application form should be mailed to the DFAS address given on the website.

Payments to a former spouse will begin three months after the DFAS receives the application form. If the application has been made prior to the service member's retirement, then payments to the former spouse begin within three months of the entitlement date. However, disability pay is not considered a military benefit, according to the USFSPA. Also USFSPA does not include collection of any back payments of retirement pay owed to the former spouse.

Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a former spouse who remarries is also entitled to receive retirement pay as stipulated by military benefit rules.

Source:, "Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA)," Accessed on Dec. 21, 2014

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