Divorcing a partner who serves in the United States military can raise questions about the division of government pensions and housing rights, but one of the most common queries is whether your husband or wife has the right to revoke your military spousal privileges.

The American Bar Association notes that military cards are issued by the U.S. government and not by servicemembers; however, there are several regulations that surround these cards which may affect you during and after a divorce from a military spouse.

Spousal benefits and pending divorces

As your divorce proceedings begin, you may worry that your military spouse has the right to cancel your spousal privilege card. These cards are not owned or controlled by the military spouse and the government may allow you to keep or issue you a card without the spouse’s permission. As such, your soon-to-be-ex has no input on whether you continue to use your card for military benefits and discounts.

Military card regulations

Not all military benefits are subject to unlimited use once your divorce is final. There are several regulations that allow you to retain your benefits after the divorce, including:

  • If you were married for 20 years or more
  • Put in 20 years of military service
  • An overlap of both equaling 15 years

If you are close to qualifying for these circumstances, you may want to consider delaying the initiation of divorce proceedings if possible so you can take advantage of the exceptions, such as retaining your medical care.

The U.S. government reserves the right to terminate your spousal benefits if you remarry. You may have to surrender the card once your benefits expire for any reason.