U.S. Service members that are either living or stationed in Oklahoma can file for divorce here. All family law matters are governed by Oklahoma state law, but service members are offered protection by numerous federal statutes as well. In addition to Oklahoma property division laws, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act "USFSPA" govern how military families couples calculate and divide military benefits upon divorce. If the service member and spouse have been married for 10 years or longer while the member has been active duty, the spouse will be eligible to receive military retirement benefits directly from Defense Finance and Accounting Service ("DFAS"). Courts have discretion to divide military retirement benefits if length of marriage less than 10 years, but the payment comes from the retiring spouse instead of DFAS.
Spouses married to former military members are also eligible for Tricare (medical coverage) and base privileges, when the following requirements are met: A.) the marriage last for at least 20 years; B.) the service member has been in the military a minimum of twenty years; C.) the period of the marriage and military service overlap. Note, these benefits end if you remarry.
Survivor Benefits Plans ("SBP") and ("TSP") Thrift Savings Plan are benefits that need to be specifically addressed in the decree.
What is the Service Members' Civil Relief Act ?
- The purpose of SCRA is to protect active duty servicemembers from being at a disadvantage in a case simply because they are on active duty.
- Active duty service members can request a stay of court proceedings.
- Note, all request for a stay of court proceedings for 90 days.
- After 90 days, this stay may be extended at the judge's discretion.
Military divorce is complex, but you do not have to go at it alone. Call/text Hayes Legal Solutions, PLLC to set up a free 15 exploratory call at 405-635-5578.