Divorce proceedings can be complex, and when one or both spouses are military members, it adds another layer of complexity. One of the main concerns in such cases is how to handle the military pension.
If you or your spouse has a military pension and you are going through a divorce in Georgia, it is important to understand how the state law treats these assets.
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act
The federal law, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, plays a role in how the courts can divide military pensions in divorce. The USFSPA allows state courts to treat disposable retired pay either as property solely of the member or as property of the member and his or her spouse in accordance with the law of the state. In Georgia, the courts view military pensions as marital property.
Georgia’s equitable division approach
In Georgia, the court follows an equitable division approach for dividing marital assets, including military pensions. This means that the court aims for a fair distribution, but not necessarily a 50/50 split. While the courts entitle your spouse to a portion of your military pension, it may not be an equal share. The court will consider several factors in determining the percentage each party receives.
The length of the marriage and military service
The length of the marriage and the years of military service during the marriage are important factors in the division of military pensions in Georgia. Generally, if the marriage lasted for at least ten years during which the military spouse performed at least ten years of service creditable towards retirement eligibility, the non-military spouse will have a stronger claim to a portion of the military pension.
Understanding the nuances regarding how the courts may split your military pension can help you navigate your Georgia divorce more effectively and will help you know what to expect when the courts divide your assets.