On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed S. 2943, the 2017 the National Defense Authorization Act, which had previously passed both chambers of Congress with “veto-proof” majorities in both chambers.
Section 641 of the Act contains a major change in how states are permitted to divide military retirement. In short, the former spouse’s share of the retirement is “frozen” as of the date of dissolution, and cannot include any future promotions or longevity increases.
The federal government has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Arizona Supreme Court decision on the issue of whether the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (10 U.S. Code §1408) bars a domestic relations court from ordering indemnity for a post-judgment conversion of military retirement to VA disability payments.
The law on transfering SBP coverage when a former spouse died was ambiguous, and DFAS had been taking the hard line approach that SBP coverage died with the former spouse, and all of the accumulated premium payments were simply lost.
Can a family law judge divide the value of military leave? The answer may depend upon whether the servicemember has the right to sell back his/her accrued leave. See the Cashing in Military Leave article in the Military Divorce Guide for details of when military leave may be cashed in.