When you and your spouse decide to divorce in Florida, the court splits multiple assets between the two of you. While you may think about the house, cars and bank accounts, courts can also divide your retirement and pension plans. But if you or your spouse is in the military, splitting retirement becomes a little more complex.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) ensures that state courts can decide on how to split a military pension. However, the way that the former spouse gets a share of the benefits depends on how long the marriage lasted.

Florida divorce courts decide how to split the pension

The USFSPA protects the decision of the state court when dividing military pension. Florida divorce courts follow equitable distribution when dividing marital assets. The amount of pension the former spouse receives depends on each different marriage. The judge will consider several factors when dividing the assets. These can include the length of the marriage, the amount of assets each spouse brought in, the number of children and how much each spouse contributed to the home, among others.

After considering all these factors, the judge will then rule on how to divide your assets, including the military pension.

10/10 rule for pension payments

A Florida divorce court can split military retirement no matter how long the marriage has lasted. But for the Department of Defense (DOD) to pay the former spouse directly, the marriage must meet the 10/10 requirement. This rule requires the couple to have at least 10 years of marriage, during which the service member served at least 10 years. The DOD will not pay pension benefits directly to the other spouse if the marriage doesn’t meet both time requirements. If it doesn’t, the other spouse must collect his or her share of pension from the military spouse.

Military divorce can have challenges

Your military divorce can come with many challenges unique from traditional divorce. But when it comes to a military pension, the USFSPA gives Florida courts the power to split the pension based on equitable distribution.