CAN PRE-MARITAL MILITARY YEARS BECOME MARITAL IN A PENSION?
The answer is yes and this is why. Unused military years can be applied to most government pension plans to enhance a monthly pension benefit at retirements. Military requires 20 years of service to assign a monthly pension benefit, known as 20-year cliff vesting.
How does this potentially play into a divorce?
In Martin v Martin¹ the District Court of Appeal opined that Appellant David Martin’s eight years of pre-marital military service should be considered marital when applied to his federal pension benefit calculation. The federal pension was accrued during the marriage but the assumed military years occurred prior to the marriage. The court’s reasoning was based on the fact that in order to apply his unused military years to his government pension, David had to pay to have those years applied, and he used marital funds to purchase the equivalent military years. https://familylawyermagazine.com/articles/pre-marital-military-years-become-marital-in-pension/
For the majority of cases, making a deposit or contribution toward any enhancement of one spouse’s pension with marital monies will make that enhancement marital. The law is ever changing in the field of military pensions and benefits. You can find out more from us at Spindler and Associates.
The attorneys at Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates are experienced attorneys who change with the times to meet the needs of their clients. Contact the Milford, Michigan law office of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000 for assistance. The attorneys of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates practice law throughout Southeastern Michigan including Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Genesee and Livingston counties as well as four mid-Michigan counties Clare, Gladwin, Ogemaw and Roscommon. The attorneys handle cases in Milford; Highland; Hartland; White Lake; Wixom; Commerce; Walled Lake; Waterford; West Bloomfield; Linden; Fenton; Flint; Grand Blanc; Holly; South Lyon; New Hudson; Howell; Clare; Gladwin; Houghton Lake; Higgins Lake; and many more Michigan communities.