Clement Law Center - Federal Way Family Law Attorney
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Our office is open. At Clement Law Center, the safety and wellbeing of our clients and employees come first. In response to COVID-19, court hearings and all conferences with client and prospective clients will be by phone. We are not conducting in-person court hearings or meetings. Our staff will often be working remotely during this time. Our office will be checking voicemail and will return client calls as soon as possible. We continue to offer free phone consultations.
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Do you remain eligible for survivor benefits after your divorce?

| Sep 6, 2019 | Uncategorized

Your marriage to a service member in Federal Way likely places you in the position of needing to make certain sacrifices in order to accommodate their service. Among those sacrifices may be your career pursuits in order to dedicate yourself to running your family while your spouse fulfills their military obligations. Consequently, you become dependent on the benefits made available through your spouse’s service. Among those benefits may be the assurance that if your spouse dies during the course of their service, you will be paid survivor benefits to compensate for the loss of their support. 

Do you remain eligible for those benefits if you and your service member spouse choose to divorce? The answer to that question depends on the unique circumstances of your case. Per the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the court presiding over your case may mandate that your ex-spouse continue to offer you SBP coverage. Such a mandate may depend on a number of factors, such as your ability to secure gainful employment on your own or whether your responsibilities to your children make it unreasonable to expect you to work full-time outside of the home. If you are declared eligible for survivor benefit plan coverage following your divorce, either you or your ex-spouse must declare this to the DFAS within one year of your divorce becoming final. 

It is important to remember that survivor benefits are not automatic. Your ex-spouse must have elected to pay for such coverage from their military retirement pay. If your ex-spouse does die while in service, the maximum amount you can receive as survivor benefits is 55 percent of what would have been their base retirement pay. 

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