New proposal could change military divorce proceedings

As it currently stands, Kentucky couples in the military seeking to end their marriages have to suffer asset division dictated by old and out-of-date rules. While the spirit of the law may have been appropriate many years ago, the common occurrence of divorce and the changing landscape of current military life has created room and need for change. A new proposal could significantly change the way retirement pay is split in military divorce cases.

With current laws, a husband or wife of a deceased service member can be entitled to half of his or her retirement pay regardless of how long the two were married. This would remain in effect even if the two people had been married only a year. Under the current laws, servicemen who divorced their spouses and subsequently entered into a marriage with another that lasted decades would still find that their long-term and short-term mates would have to share in the retirement benefits.

The proposed approach ignores the marital foundation theory, which basically just recognizes that an individual's retirement pay is based upon a foundation of marital effort. The new approach also allows spouses' retirement benefits to be divided in the terms of the divorce. This measure is in negotiations between members of the Senate and House Armed Services committees.

While navigating this difficult time, having a lawyer with knowledge of the divorce laws in Kentucky could be essential. A legal partner can suggest options one may not be aware of with regards to a divorce. They can also be an objective party who can guide one through the difficulties of separation.

Source: militarytimes.com, "'Radical' proposal would change the way retired pay is divided in divorce cases", Karen Jowers, Aug 1, 2016

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