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Receiving military SBP benefits after a divorce

The unique benefits afforded to military members in San Antonio  can make divorce issues much more complicated if and when they choose to separate from their spouses. In many instances of military divorce, the civilian spouse relies heavily on those benefits. The end of the marriage often does not signal the end of this reliance. He or she many continue to receive the assistance that those benefits provide as part of a divorce decree. However, many in this situation often wonder what will happen to that assistance once their ex-spouses die.

According to the website, one of the benefits extended to servicemen and women is a Survivor Benefit Plan. This provides a monthly annuity to the spouse and/or children of a military member upon that member’s death. That payment typically amounts to 55 percent of either a member’s retirement pay or the base amount specified when he or she made the election. Full SBP coverage for both a service member’s wife and children will automatically begin unless he or she elects another appropriate form of it. Married servicemen and women cannot decline SBP coverage for their spouses with first obtaining their consent.

If one is married to a service member at the time the member becomes eligible for the SBP benefit, or has been married to a serviceman or woman for at least one year after he or she became eligible for it, then that spouse may ask to continue to be protected though SBP even after the marriage ends. Such protection may either come as part of a divorce settlement or as a mandate from the court. Either way, states the member must elect to receive former spouse coverage through his or her SBP within a year of the divorce becoming final.


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