If you have married someone in the military, you likely gained a number of privileges that you would not have been able to gain otherwise. If you divorce that same person, you do not lose all of these rights and privileges. Here are the rights and privileges that you still have despite having divorced your spouse who is in the military.
1. Full Rights and Privileges for the Rest of Your Life
In order to not lose any of your rights and privileges, you need to have been married to your spouse who was in the military for at least twenty years before you got the divorce. Your ex-spouse also needs to have served for at least twenty years, since this will make him or her eligible for retirement pay from the military. Your spouse does not necessarily need to be retired for this clause to have been satisfied. Finally, you need to have been married to your ex-spouse for at least twenty of the years that he or she served in the military. This is known as the 20/20/20 rule.
In order to be eligible for these full rights and privileges and experience no change from when you were married, you also need to not remarry.
2. Full Rights and Privileges for One Year
If you did not meet all of the requirements that have been listed above, then you might still be eligible for the full rights and privileges that you receive when married to someone in the military for at least one year while you get the rest of your life together to cover the loss of these rights and privileges. You are able to get this full year of rights and privileges by having been married to your ex-spouse for twenty years and for your ex-spouse having served in the military for at least twenty years. You also need to have been married to your spouse for at least fifteen years when he or she was actively serving. This is called the 20/20/15 rule.
You also need to not remarry during this time in order to be eligible.
3. Housing and Healthcare
If you do not meet any of the above criteria, you still have rights. You can receive healthcare under the DoD Continued Health Care Benefit until you are able to organize some other type of health care for you and your family members. You also will have thirty days to leave military housing after your ex-spouse stops living there, giving you enough time to find other, suitable housing.
For more information, talk to a military divorce lawyer.