One of the perks of marrying a servicemember is gaining limited access to some military bases. To allow this, the U.S. government provides military IDs to military spouses. During a divorce, you might wonder what to do with that ID.

In fact, both military personnel and their spouses might have questions. Ultimately, each situation is different. However, there are some basic things to note.

Servicemembers have only limited rights to the ID

If you are a service member, you might feel compelled to take the ID from your spouse. However, according to the American Bar Association, you might not have the right to do so. Like a passport or a driver’s license, that ID comes from a government agency. Subsequently, even with a pending divorce, the U.S. government reserves the authority to take or not to take the ID card away.

Benefits might remain in place after the divorce

Sometimes, things fall through the cracks and your spouse might never lose access to the base. However, even when things go as planned, there are instances when spouses can hold on to that ID after the divorce. Generally, they need to meet the 20/20/20 rule:

  • 20 years of military service
  • 20 years of marriage
  • 20 years of overlap between the marriage and military service

Benefits might end after remarriage

When a military ex-spouse remarries, they generally lose the ID privileges they once had, including access to the ID itself. Again, there are times when things slip through the cracks and the government does not make a formal request for the return of the ID. It is generally in the best interest of the ex-spouse to return it anyway as the government no longer considers them a rightful owner.

Military divorces often involve far greater complications than regular, civilian divorces. Knowing what the rules are is a great starting point to begin simplifying the process.