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Military Retirement Benefits

The Willick Law Group has substantial experience dealing with military retirement benefits cases. Marshal Willick wrote the first textbook in this subject area, “Military Retirement Benefits in Divorce: A Lawyer’s Guide to Valuation and Distribution” for the American Bar Association in 1998, and has written articles and taught continuing legal education seminars on the subject for several decades.

The materials below, including a summary of the changes to the USFSPA as a result of the 2017 NDAA, a comprehensive article on division of military retirement benefits, a Survivor’s Benefit Plan cost-shifting calculator, and other links and explanatory exhibits are intended to provide a resource for those working in this area or subject or interested in learning it.


Suggested Language for Any Decree of Divorce Implicating a Military Retirement (2024)

The court reserves jurisdiction to issue and enforce an Order Incident to Decree fully addressing and specifying the distribution of military retirement benefits including such clauses as are necessary to address all future contingencies.  

Former Spouse is to receive 50% of the marital share of the military retirement in accordance with the laws of this state.  Any amounts not payable by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service are to be paid directly by the member to the former spouse.    Former Spouse shall be entitled to Cost of Living Adjustments to this award if and when granted by the United States Government.  Former Spouse shall be named as the irrevocable beneficiary of the survivor benefit plan (SBP) with the full amount of the retired pay being used as the base amount.   Former Spouse is entitled to 50% of the marital share of the Thrift Savings Plan.

Military cases involve unique and technical issues. The Willick Law Group often assists litigants and lawyers throughout the country, drafting orders, consulting, or providing expert witness testimony in military cases. We welcome calls or e-mails from litigants or attorneys who have need for more direct assistance with their cases.

From periodically – updated CLE materials:





Benefits in Divorce (1998)

A Lawyer’s Guide to Valuation and Distribution by Marshal S. Willick

Price: $25

Covers all aspects of cases with military benefits, showing you how to:

  • Value retirement plans and other service benefits
  • Obtain information and payment from military pay centers
  • Manage multi-state and international litigation
  • Handle survivorship benefits
  • Deal with jurisdiction traps
  • Obtain direct payment of benefits
  • Appeal adverse decisions


Additional Military related articles and information:

Historical Military Pay Tables

Pages in Our Website


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