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The 20/20/20 Rule

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2020 | Divorce

Marriage to a member of the military in Pennsylvania brings with a number of sacrifices. Your service member spouse often must relocate on short notice, or will sometimes receive assignments that call them away for extended periods. Yet these sacrifices are often offset by the unique benefits you enjoy due to your association (such as military discounts, access to commissary goods, retirement pay and healthcare coverage through TRICARE).

Your divorce may put your access to such benefits in jeopardy. Such is typically one of the main concerns many in your same position who come to us here at McMorrow Law, LLC have. Given the difficulties you may encounter in transitioning into your post-divorce life, you may reasonably question whether (and for how long) you can continue to rely on such benefits.

Qualifying for continued military benefits following a divorce

That answer to that question depends on the following three factors:

  • How long your marriage lasted
  • How many years your ex-spouse served that counted towards military
  • How many of those years overlapped with your marriage

Per TRICARE’s website, the proverbial magic number in this regard is 20. Most refer to this as “the 20/20/20 Rule,” meaning that if your marriage lasted 20 years (of which those years overlapped your ex-spouse’s creditable service), you retain your TRICARE eligibility until you remarry or secure your own insurance coverage. You also remain eligible for commissary benefits and a portion of your ex-spouse retirement benefits.

Continued coverage under TRICARE for one year

If your marriage did not overlap 20 years of your ex-spouse’s creditable service, but it did overlap 15 years, you can remain covered under TRICARE for up to one year following your divorce. You can find more information on the subtle details of a military divorce throughout our site.