Military service members in Florida and their loved ones should be aware that the Blended Retirement System becomes effective on the first day of 2018. As a result, significant changes will take place for military retirements. These changes could have a substantial effect on military families, particularly in regards to divorce settlements. According to one military divorce expert, the new BRS is expected to make military divorce cases more difficult for attorneys and may cause the ex-spouses of military service people some concern.
The overall divorce rate in the military was 3.1 percent in 2016. However, those who live or are stationed in Florida may know that the divorce rates are vastly different for men and women. In 2016, the divorce rate for male troops was 2.6 percent, and that was relatively unchanged from 2013. The rate for female troops increased from 6.2 percent in 2015 to 6.6 percent in 2016.
According to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 15, if a person is receiving part of an ex-spouse's retirement pay and looses a portion of that benefit because the ex-spouse has opted to receive disability benefits instead, the state cannot reimburse the ex-spouse. The case heard by the court involved a couple who had divorced in 1991. At the time, they agreed that when the man retired from the military, his ex-wife would get half of his retirement pay.