Will Divorce Affect a Post 9-11 Bill Transfer of Benefits?
If you're facing a Virginia divorce from someone who served in the military, you may have questions about how the end of your marriage will affect your spouse's Post 9-11 GI Bill transfer of benefits.
There are many benefits of serving in the U.S. military. Members of the armed forces receive special benefits for themselves and their families. In the event of divorce, federal laws determine what happens to these benefits as military members change family structure.
About the Post 9-11 GI Bill
The Post 9-11 Bill went into effect in June 2008. It provides funds for education, education-related housing, and books for individuals who served in the armed forces after Sept. 11, 2001. In order to qualify for funding from this bill, the individual needs to have had at least 90 days of aggregate service after 9/11and received an honorable discharge.
The post 9-11 GI Bill has allowed many veterans to have successful careers; it has also been helpful to service members' families. Recipients of GI Bill benefits have the option of transferring benefits to their spouses or children.
Once a spouse and children are determined eligible to receive transferred benefits, they can use their funds until eligibility runs out. For a spouse, eligibility expires after 15 years. For children, the funds expire when they reach the age of 26.
Divorce and the Post 9-11 GI Bill
There is no federal law prohibiting the recipient of the GI Bill from transferring unused funds to an ex-spouse after a divorce. There is also nothing that stops him or her from transferring funds to their children. The transfer of funds is entirely up to the recipient. It's the recipient's to transfer or revoke as he or she sees fit.
This can be a problem in a messy divorce, when one spouse no longer wants his or her benefit used to further his or her ex-spouse's education and career. It's less likely that the recipient would choose to revoke the transfer of funds to the children, but in certain cases it may happen.
Sadly, there isn't anything that can be done legally to compel the recipient to make the funds available if he or she decides to revoke the transfer; it's something that needs to be worked out among the divorcing couple. If the couple decides on mediation, they may want to address the topic of transferring Post 9-11 GI Bill funds.
When you're planning a Virginia divorce, you should have good legal counsel on your side to make sure that you receive whatever you are legally entitled to.
Contacting a Virginia Divorce Attorney
There are very specific rules governing divorce in Virginia. At Hofheimer Family Law Firm we are committed to providing you with the experience and compassion you deserve and the successful results you need to move on with your life. , or – 1-757-425-5200.