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What is the 20/20/20 rule?

Divorce does not mean that you will lose all of the benefits you now get as a military spouse. You may be able to continue receiving some benefits and privileges, but you must meet the 20/20/20 rules to qualify. 

According to Military One Source, the 20/20/20 rule and the benefits you receive are according to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act. 


The 20/20/20 rule is a three-part qualification that you must meet to continue receiving certain military benefits after your divorce. The first part of the qualification is that you must have been married to a member of the military for at least 20 years. 

The next requirement is that the service of your ex-spouse must include a minimum of 20 years of time that provided credit towards retirement pay. The second part of this is that your marriage must have been for at least 20 years during the time your spouse earned the credit towards retirement pay. 

In addition to meeting the requirements outlined under the 20/20/20 rule, one other requirement you must meet is that you cannot be remarried. 

Other information

You should note that the 20/20/20 rule only applies to certain benefits. You may not qualify for all the same benefits that you received during your marriage. Also, this does not apply to medical coverage, which has its own rule called the 20/20/15 rule. 

You will still need to go through the court and your divorce proceedings to receive other benefits that do not fall under the instructions of the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act.