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What is the USFSPA maximum payment amount in a military divorce?

When a Missouri military divorce takes place, there are many different issues that must be navigated. Some of these could be in dispute, so it is important to understand the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA). Under this act, the right to distribute military pay when a service member ends his or her marriage is given to state courts. USFSPA also gives a method of enforcement via the Department of Defense (DOD). There is a limit to the amount a non-military spouse can get from the military member's pay. There is a maximum payment amount.

Under the Act, the most an ex-spouse can be awarded is half of the disposable retired pay of the military member. If payments are being made via the Act, and the paying spouse's wages are being garnished for spousal support or child support, it cannot go beyond 65 percent of the disposable income. When it comes to disposable retirement payments, these will be the amount the military member receives in gross pay minus any deductions that are authorized. The date of the divorce is key to determining the maximum payment and the deductions.

For decisions starting on February 3, 1991, or thereafter, the following are authorized deductions that may be made: overpayments by the U.S. that must be repaid by the recipient; if the person was court-martialed and has forfeited retirement pay; Title 5 retirement pay that was waived, which falls under federal civilian employment, or the Department of Veterans Affairs via Title 38; the amount of the pay the retired service member gets per a code for separation or retirement due to a physical disability and the percentage of the retired service member's disability; and premiums paid based on the Survivor Benefit Plan for an annuity to a married partner or former married partner.

A person who is a military member of a former military member and a non-military spouse will have numerous divorce issues to handle. A legal professional who is experienced in military divorce will have knowledge about USFSPA and the maximum amounts that can be paid to a service member's ex. Both sides should discuss a case with an attorney before moving forward.

Source: dfas.mil, "Defense Finance and Accounting Service," accessed Sept. 3, 2017

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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