Wisconsin military divorce-military retired pay

Wisconsin military divorce-military retired pay

Wisconsin military divorce benefits are often the single most valuable asset when a couple separates. It is extremely important to understand and properly allocate the military retired pay.   Depending on the servicemember’s length of service and other factors, the value of military retired pay may be well over $100,000.   In order to divide this benefit, it must first be valued.  The best way to do so is to hire a financial advisor who understands the military regulations.  There is a minimal cost for this service, but it is well worth it.

Once the military retired pay is valued in a Wisconsin military divorce, it must be allocated between spouses.  It is not necessarily an equal division.  In my experience, judges are very willing to give the servicemember extra credit for any portion of the military retired pay built up prior to marriage.  Depending on the length of service and length of marriage, this credit could be significant.


Even after the military retired pay is allocated, more work must be done.   Related benefits, such as cost of living adjustments and survivor benefits must be allocated.  Survivor benefits are important to the non-military spouse in particular.  There is a cost involved, but this designation can ensure that the spouse’s portion of the benefit is actually received.

Finally, a special document, called a Court Order Acceptable for Processing, is required by the military to actually divide the account. Once again, it must be very carefully drafted and include certain “magic words” to ensure it is accepted by the military, and the benefits properly divided.

In your Wisconsin military divorce, it is vital that all these steps are followed to ensure the military retired pay is accurately divided.  If any steps are missed or inaccurate, there would  be serious consequences in lost benefits later in life.    Attorney David Kowalski has handled many Wisconsin military divorce cases.  Call for a free consultation to ensure your military retired pay is handled wisely.

Published by David Kowalski

Attorney David Kowalski is the founding owner of Kowalski, Wilson & Vang, LLC, handling all family law cases from divorce, paternity, child custody, termination of parental rights, restraining orders, and guardianships.

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