Illinois residents who are married to a member of the military and getting a divorce may wonder how their healthcare and other benefits will change. What happens after a divorce depends on the length of the marriage, how long a spouse has served in the military and the amount of time military service and marriage overlapped.
When figuring out whether benefits continue after a military divorce, the "20/20/20 rule" applies. This means that a marriage must have lasted for at least 20 years, a spouse must have served for at least 20 years and the marriage must overlap with the service for 20 years or more. Anyone who was married to a military service member for less than 20 years does not receive any benefits, and any current benefits end when the divorce is finalized.
There a few exceptions to the 20/20/20 rule. One could receive temporary benefits when a military member has served at least 20 years and a marriage lasts at least 20 years if the marriage and the military service overlap for at least 15 years. This allows a spouse to receive one transitional year of Tricare effective on the divorce date. The 20/20/20 rule does not apply to children, so they can receive military benefits after a divorce.Eligible parties can use Tricare, the commissary and the exchange after a marriage is dissolved. Benefits end if the former spouse of a service member remarries, but the benefits children receive do not end after remarriage.
Ending a marriage is sometimes more difficult when one or both parties are in the military as scheduling conflicts can arise due to active duty and deployment. Forming a settlement arrangement might be easier if it negotiated with the help of the parties' respective attorneys.