How does Kentucky divide pensions during a military divorce?

Military divorces can often be more complicated when compared to civilian divorces. There are entirely separate issues that can affect the outcome of military separation. For example, servicemembers can file for divorce in their state of residence or in the state they are stationed in. This variability can impact the division of your military pension because each state handles this situation differently.

Will my ex-spouse receive a share of my pension?

The military gives the power to the states to decide how military pensions should be distributed. The Uniform Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act allows states to divide military pensions exactly like community or marital property.

Typically, each state will divide your retirement pay in a fair and just manner. How courts split your pension depends on the length of your marriage and if child or spousal support is needed. In Kentucky, if there is a requirement for additional assistance, state courts can give up to retirement pay to the ex-spouse. If there is no need for monetary help, 50% of the pension is the most a state can take from you.

Determining your spouse’s share

When a court hands down the judgment, they will need to disclose how they reached your spouse’s share. Courts use one of these three approaches to calculate the division of your pension:

  • Current worthYour spouse could receive their share immediately with this option. They could lose out on some money, but they will not have to wait until you retire.
  • Delayed payments: This option makes a determination about the amount the spouse will receive immediately, but any payments will be delayed until your retirement.
  • Postponed authority: This is the most lucrative option for the spouse because their portion will be determined once you retire.

Military divorces are typically more complicated than a standard divorce. Reaching out to an experienced Kentucky divorce lawyer could make the process easier for you.