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Thread: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

  1. #91
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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    It is the law but it illustrates the central pillar of the position that the DoD and specifically the DoD Comptroller took during the bill's consideration (not hearings because there weren't any hearings). The DoD argued (and I have stated it several times here and in other threads) that retired pay is not a typical retirement annuity and should not be considered marital community property. This central difference was ignored in the USFSPA and has continued to be ignored by the courts. It is legal, but that doesn’t make it right.
    I agree 100%.
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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    It is the law but it illustrates the central pillar of the position that the DoD and specifically the DoD Comptroller took during the bill's consideration (not hearings because there weren't any hearings). The DoD argued (and I have stated it several times here and in other threads) that retired pay is not a typical retirement annuity and should not be considered marital community property. This central difference was ignored in the USFSPA and has continued to be ignored by the courts. It is legal, but that doesn’t make it right.
    Hence why most of us want it repealed..

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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    Hence why most of us want it repealed..
    At least rewritten allowing courts to consider evidence as to the spouse's contribution (or lack of contribution) to the overall military career that the retirement pay is being received for. Proof of abandoned career choices. etc. Anything but the blanket decision which the law has become. You can argue all day that the courts are not forced to consider the retirement pay as marital community property but the facts on the ground won't support that assertion. The court looks at the numbers, does the math and bangs the gavel....end of discussion, end of case.
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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    It is a very bad law that punishes the military member. My ex did everything to ruin my military career dispite her efforts I did retire and E-7. Her drug habit landed her in jail countless times, and owes me over $15,000 in back child support. She is currently in jail until next year and recieves half of my retirment check like clockwork.

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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    I know some who would have willfully NOT retired just to spite the shit out of spouses like that..

    At least rewritten allowing courts to consider evidence as to the spouse's contribution (or lack of contribution) to the overall military career that the retirement pay is being received for. Proof of abandoned career choices. etc.
    Especially since many of the divorces i know of were cause either
    A) she did not want to continually relocate/be without him for deployments. or
    B) she made the "its me or the military" speech when it came time to reenlist.

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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 8, of the United States Constitution prohibits any person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under the United States from accepting any present, office or title, of any kind whatsoever, from a foreign government without the consent of Congress. That constitutional prohibition applies to retired members of our military. As a result, the comptroller General has permitted DFAS to withhold military retirement income in an amount equal to the payments received from a foreign government if the retired military service member accepts employment from a foreign government without the consent of Congress . That restriction clearly demonstrates that retired military service members must accept certain obligations and restrictions in order to receive military retirement income. Interestingly, no such obligation and no such restriction exists for those former military spouses who are receiving military retirement income as part of a divorce decree.

    This begs the question as to how, under the law, can military retirement income be considered an equitably distributable asset or community property when the military service member must accept certain obligations and restrictions in order to receive the military retirement income, yet the former military spouse does NOT have to accept those same obligations and restrictions in order to receive the military retirement income ?

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  7. #97
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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Quote Originally Posted by squidnut View Post
    A former spouse in my opinion should not be allowed any percentage of the retirement. Can I reach out and touch her retirement from a civilian source? No I cannot. It is income not property. Solution, to be eligible for any retirement the former spouse should have to prove the divorce was caused by the service member. Deployments and service do not count on that as it is Army directed. If the service member was unfaithful or abusive then yeah he/she earned it and that member deserves to lose it. Other than that it is a rule made by a lawmaker that got bedded down with somebodys wife/husband and wanted some cash.
    Not only should the former spouse have to prove that the divorce was caused by the service member, the spouse should have to prove that they were SUPPORTIVE of the service member's career! My ex bitched and bitched and bitched. If I had to work late, he bitched. If I had to go TDY, he bitched. He made my life miserable, because I did what I signed up to do. For almost 20 years, he bitched and bitched about my military commitments, never participated in holiday parties, Dining Outs, any unit functions. And he should get half of my retirement? I don't think so. He didn't, I retired with disability, but oh, he so could have!

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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Agreed. Heck a good chunk of the mil divorcees i know were CAUSE spoussy said
    "Its either me or the mil. You go on one more TDY/Deployment/PCS/Extension/Reenlistment i am divorcing your butt"

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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Agreed. Heck a good chunk of the mil divorcees i know were CAUSE spoussy said
    "Its either me or the mil. You go on one more TDY/Deployment/PCS/Extension/Reenlistment i am divorcing your butt"

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    Default Re: Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)

    Hi I have sent letters to law makers, signed online petitions and argued with DFAS. Attached is the letter I sent to Boehner and the other so called veterans rights congressmen/women. If we cannot repeal it lets reform it to a fair law. I don't mind paying for my divorce but this legislature is a life sentence without appeal.

    Congressman Lungren,


    I know you are supportive of small business and veterans issues. I was hoping you could reintroduce reforms to the USFSPA.
    A PETITION REQUESTING LEGISLATIVE REFORM OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FORMER SPOUSES PROTECTION ACT (USFSPA), PUBLIC LAW 97-252, 10 USC 1408 is being circulated.

    These reforms would provide relief of those tens of thousands of members of the Uniformed Services already impacted by, as well as those potentially vulnerable to, the Uniformed Services FormerSpouses Protection Act (USFSPA); Public Law 97-252; 10 USC 1408 et.seq.

    I believe that the USFSPA discriminates against members of the Uniformed Services who become divorced by subjecting them to mandates for the distribution of marital assets not applicable to other government employees (including members of Congress) and private citizens of the United States. This is inimical to the guarantee of equal justice under law provided by the constitution.

    Unlike their contemporaries in the civilian sector, retired members of the Uniformed Services must meet, for life, certain obligations to their 'former employer,' while the ex-spouses, who share these benefits, share none of the obligations. Moreover, by a series of remarriages, an ex-spouse may qualify for USFSPA payments from multiple sources while a succession of Uniformed Services retirees remain indentured to their former spouses for life, this is a life sentence for one divorce/mistake. There are no time limits on when the ex-spouse can file for these payments either. It can be 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, and they still qualify for payments for life.In the civilian sector the spouse has only one bite at the apple the USFSPA gives them the right to eat from the whole apple tree. I know veterans on public assistance (food stamps or other public payments) and their spouses have a thriving career still recieving 50% of the veterans retirement for life.

    Individuals married to members of the Uniformed Services have available to them, in divorce court, all the remedies available to their contemporaries in the civilian sector. While the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the retired pay of members of the Uniformed Services has none of the characteristics of marital property, there is no legal prohibition of its use as a source of alimony and child support. I have no objection to its use in those roles, but do strongly object to its award for life, even if the benefiting ex-spouse remarries.

    I believe that USFSPA payments should be based on the rank/rate/pay grade at the time of divorce, that the disability pay of the member should be protected in a divorce action, and that there should be a statute of limitations on the time allotted to claim benefits under the USFSPA during a divorce.

    'Reform' of the USFSPA is the least that congress can do. Here is what my fellow veterans and I envision the language to be:
    1. Quantified the share of retired pay payable to former spouses. Provided a formula based on (i) years of marriage while the member was qualifying for retired pay; (ii) time credited for retired pay. Applied to divorces occurring before or after enactment. Provided an exception for voluntary spousal agreements.
    2. Limited the duration of payments.
    For divorces occurring after enactment:
    Where the time married while the member was on active duty (or, in the case of reserve/National Guard, was earning retirement points) was less than 20 years, payments would be made for the number of years married while the member was qualifying for retired pay, or, until the former spouse remarried, whichever occurred first.
    Where the time married while the member was on active duty was 20 years or more, payments would continue until the death of the member or former spouse, whichever occurs first. ·
    For divorces occurring before enactment:
    If the length of the marriage while the member was on active duty was less than 20 years, payments would continue for the length of the marriage while the member was on active duty.
    If payments had already been made for the number of years of marriage while the member was on active duty, payments would continue until two years after enactment and then end.
    If the payment period ended within two years of enactment, payments would continue until the end of the two-year period after enactment.
    If the length of the marriage while the member was on active duty was 20 years or more, payments would continue until the death of the member or former spouse, whichever occurred first.
    3. Windfall benefit. Eliminated the "windfall benefit" but applied only to court orders issued after date of enactment (prospective application only).
    4. Statute of limitations. Provided a two-year statute of limitations, applying only to court orders issued after date of enactment (prospective application only). However, courts would be prohibited from ordering payments in arrears for more than two years.
    5. Protection of disability pay. Absolute prohibition against payment of disability pay to former spouses, including garnishment under the Social Security Act, of VA disability compensation received in lieu of waived retired pay. (Child support excepted).

    Sincerely,

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