Are there any time restrictions relative to awarding benefits to a former spouse under the Military Retirement System?
There are no restrictions relative to the retirement benefit. However, there is a time restriction with respect to the survivor benefit plan annuity (SBP).
In order for the former spouse to remain eligible for survivor benefit plan coverage, the member must make an affirmative election for such coverage within 1 year of the date of the decree of divorce, dissolution or annulment. If the member neglects or refuses to make such affirmative election it is possible to protect the former spouse entitlement to the SBP coverage by having the former spouse make a "deemed election" for such coverage within the one year time limit. Accordingly, the member shall be deemed to have made the necessary elections thereby preserving the former spouse entitlement to the SBP coverage.