Veterans Day

Military Pay in Divorce Cases


All of us here at Family Law Center, APC, wish you a happy Veterans Day. We thank those that have served our country for their courage and sacrifice.


We work with many veterans in their divorces, helping to skillfully and compassionately navigate the divorce process. Veterans present special issues in divorce that should not be overlooked, such as the following:


  • Military Pension: Similar to a state pension, a military pension can be valued and the non-military spouse’s community property interest can be calculated based on total years of service, years of service during the marriage, the spouse’s age, etc.


  • Military Retirement: In addition to the military pension, a servicemember can pay into a voluntary defined contribution plan known as a Thrift Savings Plan (“TSP”). This can be valued in the same way as any other retirement plan, looking at contributions made during the marriage.


  • Disability Benefits: A veteran’s disability compensation cannot be treated as a divisible asset in a divorce. Federal law exempts such payments from division upon divorce. However, a veteran’s benefits may be considered as income to calculate child support or spousal support in a divorce.


  • Accrued Leave: An active duty servicemember accrues 30 days of paid leave per year, valued at the servicemember’s monthly pay rate. Paid leave is accrued regardless of the servicemember’s rank.


For active duty service members abroad, there are even more special issues related to jurisdiction, modifications of child support, etc. Whether you are a veteran, an active duty service member, or a non-military spouse, you need an experienced family law attorney that is knowledgeable of the family law issues unique to veterans and servicemembers.


This blog was written by James J. Tiehm. James is a family law attorney at Family Law Center. He practices exclusively family law and serves the greater Sacramento area, including the counties of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo. If you need assistance with your divorce, including military benefits issues, call James at (916) 488-5088 to schedule a consultation.

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