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Military Spouse Divorce Alimony & Other Benefits

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

military spouse divorce alimony

Sometimes, when two people get divorced, one of them will be ordered to pay alimony. This entails that the ordered person has to give money to the other person as a means of financial support. This is the same for military spouse divorces.

If you are looking for information on military spouse divorce alimony, you are on the right article. In the following paragraphs, we will tell you all the essentials of military alimony. So, make sure you read until the end!

Military Divorce and Alimony


In the military, there are military divorce spouse support and alimony-related guidelines.

1. Army

The Army expects military members to sort out their personal affairs in a way that no discredit is brought upon them members themselves or the Army. This includes:

  • Keeping reasonable contact with family members to ensure their financial needs and welfare do not become a problem for the Army
  • Fulfilling parental commitments and responsibilities honorably
  • Supporting family members adequately in terms of finances

You can figure out the Army spouse support chart using this military spousal support pay formula:

Note: The BAH-II in the formula refers to the non-locality BAH rate. This rate changes each year.
  • If the military member provides support to a single family, he/she must let the family live in the government-provided quarters that he/she gets in lieu of BAH or pay support in the amount of the current non-locality BAH rate.
  • If the military member provides support to multiple families, or if the dependents of a single family live in distinct locations, the non-locality BAH rate is pro-rated for the number of entitled dependents.
  • So, for instance, if a military member has a spouse and child and the spouse has moved with her parents. Still, the child has gone to the other grandparents, the military member would have to pay one-half of the non-locality BAH rate to the spouse and one-half to the people that are taking care of the child.

You can find more details in the Army Regulation 608-99, Family Support, Child Custody and Paternity.

2. Air Force

Air Force policy advises military members that they are expected to adequately support family members in terms of finance and the processes their family members can use to get involuntary support.

In addition, they must adequately support the finances of a spouse, child or any relative, that they receive extra support allowances for. It is also necessary to comply with the provisions of a court order or written agreement on financial support.

However, the Air Force does not have guidelines on what “adequate” is.

If the spouse files a complaint about non-support from the military member, the commander will ask the member to provide proof that they are supporting their family.

You can find the official wording in the Air Force Instruction 36-2906, Personal Financial Responsibility.

3. Marine Corps

Get the value of financial support the Marine Corps suggests to military members with these steps:

  • Take the total number of family members (including the military member)
  • Divide the BAH/OHA amount by the number of family members
  • Multiply the result by the number of family members supported by the spouse that is requesting support from the military member.

From the steps above, here are samples:

  • A min of $350 for 1 family member with 1/2 BAH/OHA.
  • A min of $286 (each) for 2 family members with 1/3 BAH/OHA.
  • A min of $233 (each) for 3 family members with 1/4 BAH/OHA.
  • A min of $200 (each) for 4 family members with 1/5 BAH/OHA
  • A min of $174 (each) for 5 family members with 1/6 BAH/OHA.
Note: The support amount shall not be more than 1/3 of the Marine’s gross military pay per month if there is no court order or administrative judgment.

More detailed explanation can be found in the Marine Corps Manual for Legal Administration.

4. Navy

With the Navy guidelines, a military spouse support calculator is not necessary. The formula that must be used is very simple: [(base pay plus (+) housing allowances) divided by (:) gross pay].

Note: You do not include basic allowance for subsistence, incentive pay, sea pay, hazardous-duty pay, or other specialty pay in base pay.

The gross pay chart is as follows:

  • One-third gross pay if there is just the spouse
  • One-half gross pay if there is the spouse and one child
  • Three-fifths gross pay if there is the spouse and two or more children
  • One-sixth gross pay if there is just one minor child
  • One-fourth gross pay if there are two minor children
  • One-third gross pay if there are three minor children

For more details, read through the Navy MILPERSMAN Section 1754-030, Support of Family Members.

5. Coast Guard

If there is no court order determining the amount of support that a military member has to provide, the following formulas should be used:

  • The difference of BAH multiplied plus 20% of base pay if there is just a spouse
  • The difference of BAH multiplied plus 25% of base pay if there is a spouse and one child
  • The difference of BAH multiplied plus 30% of base pay if there is a spouse and two children
Note: The difference of BAH is the difference between the “With Dependents” and “Without Dependents” rate for the military member based on his/her rank and location.

More detailed info is available in the Commandant Notice 1000, Chapter 8.M, Support of Dependents.

However, it is important to remember that the military only has guidelines. They do not overrule a court order, as military divorces are treated as a civilian matter in a civilian court. What the civilian court rules is still the jurisdiction.

Also, if you are wondering which branch has the best benefits, this article is the answer for you!

Other Divorced Military Spouse Benefits


  • Divorced military spouse retirement pay

If you have been married to your military spouse for over 10 years aligning with his/her 10 service years, then one of your military spouse divorce entitlements is direct retirement pay,

Otherwise, you may be able to receive a portion of the retirement pay if it is included as a criterion in the divorce settlement agreement. In this case, the max amount you can receive is 50% of the retirement pay. Usually, it will take up to 90 days for the processing to complete, after which the payment will begin.

  • Divorced military spouse medical benefits

You will still be entitled to TRICARE benefits if you do not remarry and meet the following criteria:

  • You were married to your spouse for a minimum of 20 years
  • Your spouse was in the military for a minimum of 20 years
  • Your marriage overlapped the service time by 15 or 20 years
  • If the overlapped time is 15 years, you are entitled to TRICARE


Now, you know the basic guidelines on military spouse divorce alimony (by branch), you should be able to answer questions like “How much alimony does a military wife get?” and “What are military benefits after divorce?” Hopefully, armed with information from our article, you will go into your military divorce procedure with confidence.

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Read more: What percentage of military marriages end in divorce?

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