There are a couple different ways for service members to save money for retirement, but the big one is the thrift savings plan (TSP). The thrift saving plan is kind of like a 401(k) for the military. It’s a great plan. A lot of folks put into that. It’s something that you definitely want to ask about if you are divorcing a military spouse, you want to make sure that you bring that up. If they don’t’ disclose it, you can request documents from the military about it, but usually I see a lot of TSPs along with the military pension. Usually you don’t just have a military pension. You’re going to also see the thrift savings plan, and it can be several hundred thousand dollars. I had a case this morning where it was $200,000. That’s a really big benefit, and the non-military member would be entitled to half of the marital portion, at least in Florida. That’s the rule: you’re entitled to half of the marital portion, and I think a lot of states follow that kind of rule also.
Ginger L. Dugan, a family lawyer at All Family Law Group in Tampa, Florida, has 10 years of experience in family law and handling complex cases.