As the spouse of a U.S. military member, you have for years relied on certain benefits just like all others who are married to members of the armed forces. Health care benefits are among the most critical.
However, now that you and your spouse go through a divorce, you wonder whether you may still be able to have access to certain benefits. This worries you. Well, you will continue to have benefits as long as you qualify under the 20/20/20 rule.
Continue to get certain military-related benefits
Under this rule, the former spouses of military members may continue to have access to medical coverage through Tricare – the U.S. Department of Defense’s military health care system – along with on-base shopping privileges at exchanges and commissaries.
In addition, former spouses also may qualify for certain retirement benefits.
Explaining the rule
But what is the 20/20/20 rule? And how does one qualify for it?
Any former spouse of a military member will qualify for specific benefits as long as these three critical components are in place:
- The couple must have been married for at least 20 years.
- The enlisted spouse must have served a minimum of 20 years of military service, creditable toward retirement.
- The spouse’s military service and the couple’s marriage must overlap for a minimum of 20 years
By understanding the details of the 20/20/20 rule you will gain some peace of mind.
Make sure you qualify
As your long-term commitment to this relationship ends, you must protect yourself. Throughout this marriage, you have made many sacrifices through cross-country and global relocations, career adjustments and explanations to your children. The 20/20/20 rule represents the protection you need as long as you qualify.