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ID Cards, Lawyers, and Housing

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In most cases, the nonmilitary spouse will lose his/her ID card (and privilege) once the divorce is final, with two exceptions:

  • "20/20/20" former spouse. Full benefits (medical, commissary, base exchange, theater, etc.) are extended to an unremarried former spouse when:
    1. the parties had been married for at least 20 years;
    2. the member performed at least 20 years of service creditable for retired pay; and
    3. there was at least a 20 year overlap of the marriage and the military service.

    (Note: If the former spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan, medical care is not authorized. However, if coverage is terminated, military medical care benefits may be reinstated upon application by the former spouse.

  • "20/20/15" former spouse. The 20/20/15 former spouse qualifies for medical benefits (no commissary, bx, etc.) for one year from the date of the divorce, dissolution or annulment, when:
    1. the parties had been married for at least 20 years;
    2. the member performed at least 20 years of service creditable for retired pay; and
    3. there was at least a 15 year overlap of the marriage and the military service

    (Note: If the former spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan, medical care is not authorized.)

Base Housing. While on-base family housing is "issued" to the military member, the member does not have the authority to evict his/her military family members (only the installation commander has that authority). In fact, in most cases, when a domestic situation has deteriorated to the point where physical separation is warranted, the first sergeant and/or commander will usually order the military member to reside in the dormitory (barracks). This is because the military has the authority to house (for free) the military member in the dormitories, but it has no authority to provide free billeting to military spouses.

However, military family housing, by law, can only be occupied by military members who reside with their family members (other than authorized exceptions, such as when the military member is deployed, at sea, or serving in a remote-tour area). The services all have regulations which require the family housing unit to be vacated (usually within 30 days) if the military members stops residing there, or if there are no family members residing there. So, in most cases, in the event of a separation, the party remaining in the base housing unit must vacate (unless the remaining party is the military member and other dependents, such as children, remain). The military will not pay for such moves, however. While the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR), paragraph U5355C authorizes the military to pay for short-distance household good transportation in the event a military member is ordered out of base housing, the regulation specifically prohibits this provision to be used for "personal problems." The regulation states: "A short distance HHG move, incident to moving to/from Government quarters, is not authorized to accommodate a member's personal problems, convenience, or morale."

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