Your Rights to the Survivor Benefit Plan after a Virginia Divorce (Part B)If your court order requires your ex-husband to elect you as a beneficiary under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), you can still receive coverage at the time of your ex-husband's passing. There's an overwhelming amount of fine print under the SBP rules and it's extremely helpful to have an experienced Virginia divorce attorney on your side to guide you through the process.
Obtaining SBP Coverage after Your Military Divorce
While you don't have automatic rights to SBP coverage, you can still retain your benefits if you have your court order and turn in the required military paperwork within one year of your military divorce. Your Virginia divorce attorney can explain any details about the DFAS requirements that may seem confusing.
There are 2 main ways you can be elected to receive SBP benefits, even after a military divorce:
- Retiree SBP election - your ex-husband can fill out an election form that grants you coverage, which you both must sign. He must send it to the DFAS within one year of your divorce and it's generally irrevocable.
- Deemed election - instead of relying on your ex-husband to turn in the paperwork, you can send a letter of request for deemed election and a certified copy of your court order to the DFAS within one year of the court order's date.
Understanding SBP Premium Payments
In a military divorce, the courts can decide who must pay the premiums for the SBP coverage. It's important to discuss your situation with a Virginia divorce attorney who can closely examine how premium payments could affect your other benefits, such as military retirement pay.
SBP premiums can be calculated based on when your ex-husband joined the military. The premium may rise over time because of increases in retired pay, so it's important to consider all this information when working towards a fair settlement offer during your military divorce. Your Virginia divorce attorney can explain how SBP premiums affect your portion of your ex-husband's military retirement pay and can advise you on DFAS requirements surrounding your survivor benefits.
Contacting a Virginia Divorce Attorney
At this vulnerable time, it's critical that you have exceptional legal representation that not only understands the specifics of your case but is dedicated to your best interests and that of your family.
The Virginia divorce attorneys at Hofheimer Family Law Firm represent Virginia women who wish to file for divorce. We are committed to fighting for your rights, assisting in child custody disputes and advocating that you receive everything you are entitled to and need in order to start your new life. You can learn more by requesting one of our FREE divorce guides for women, or reserving your seat at our monthly divorce seminar - 757-425-5200.