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Planning survivor benefits in the military

Divorce, child support and benefits can be more complicated when one or both spouses are in the military, as opposed to any other occupation. There are many factors to consider, several of them revolving around circumstances that arise when military personnel are deployed, and the financial benefits associated with military service.

If you are getting divorced and are either a member of the military or are divorcing a military spouse, you may be confused or concerned about the different types of benefits and whether you will be entitled to them in the future.

Will there still be a survivor benefit plan for a military spouse after a divorce?

A spouse's survivor benefit plan coverage will automatically stop on the date of divorce. However, you should also inform the agency of the change, and you can ask them to change the coverage to former spouse coverage. This should be done within one year of the divorce date.

How is a survivor benefit plan applied for?

Upon the death of a person in the military, the finance center needs to be notified. The finance center will then mail a survivor benefit plan application plan to the eligible person.

How long do children receive the annuity in the event of their parent's death if their other parent does not receive coverage?

Children receive equal shares of the annuity until the age of 18 or 22 depending if they continue education.

Surviver benefit plans can be extremely complicated; therefore, you should do thorough research so that your specific questions can be answered on this topic.

Source: Military, "Survivor Benefit Plan FAQs," accessed Jan. 11, 2018

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