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Former military spouses still qualify for some benefits

If you're going through a military divorce, you may wonder how you'll be affected if you're not the spouse who participates in the military. Because the military has many special benefits for military families, you might even think that you'd lose the right to those benefits through divorce. That isn't always the case, though, and Louisiana military families might be interested in this information about continued DEERS enrollment for those who are divorced or thinking of divorcing.

According to news from Oct. 17, DEERS enrollment includes the benefits of health care, legal assistance benefits, and commissary and exchange privileges. Of course, things like health care could be a serious concern for you if you're thinking of a divorce and are only receiving the benefit through your spouse's military service. Fortunately, DEERS enrollment and usage is allowed to take place for those who are former spouses of current or former military or service members.

A publication about DEERS states that spouses will qualify for continued post-divorce use of DEERS if they have not yet remarried, have been married to a service member for at least 20 years at the time of divorce, there are 20 or more years of overlap between military service that has been credited toward DEERS and the marriage, or if the service member spouse has at least 20 years of service credited toward retirement at the time of divorce. Additionally, the post-divorce rules state that the former spouse can stay enrolled in DEERS as long as he or she does not remarry or become covered under an employer-covered health care plan.

Hopefully, this helps clarify some of the information surrounding DEERS, but if you have questions about your military divorce, you may still want to speak with someone qualified to help.

Source: Belvoir Eagle, "Certain former military spouses qualify for DEERS enrollment after divorce" Brittany Carlson, Oct. 17, 2013

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