In our final installment about the technical rights and responsibilities of spouses in military divorces, we’re going to talk a little bit more about the TRICARE program and the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act.
With the exception of spouses who qualify for coverage per the 20/20/20 Rule or the 20/20/15 Rule, most ex-spouses of military members will lose their rights to health coverage and other military benefits, such as commissary privileges and housing.
What about children in these marriages? What happens to their coverage?
The TRICARE program allows adopted and biological children to get health benefits, up to age 21, as long as the children are claimed as dependents of the person in military. This ceiling could be extended to 23, if a dependent is in college. TRICARE also has a young adult program, which provides coverage for children up to age 26.
What about stepchildren?
If a child is not a biological child — or adopted by a service member — he or she can buy health care through the Continued Health Care Benefits Program. The child should be eligible for TRICARE, after the service member finalizes the divorce and enters information into the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.
Another key document is the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act.
This allows ex-spouses to share a military pension, and it provides other forms of relief. Dividing up the marital estate can be a complicated process, particularly if the service member is located overseas or if the assets are diverse and spread out.
The team here at the Toussaint Law Firm, PC can provide a confidential, thorough evaluation of your military divorce or separations needs. Call or email our team immediately to set up a time to speak with us.