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Can the postponement of retirement prevent the distribution of military retirement pay to an ex-spouse?

Let’s say that the former spouse, who is in the military, is eligible for retirement, but after a divorce does not retire. Nevertheless, the civilian spouse is eligible for her share of his retirement pay.

Some courts have held that a former spouse may collect his or her portion of the retirement pay at the time of eligibility for retirement, regardless of whether the service member actually retires. This may sound complex, but it is logical. These courts use the rationale that the service member spouse cannot defeat the non-service member spouse’s interest in the community property by relying on a condition within the servicemember spouse’s control.