TITLE 10 United States Code Section 1408
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act
On September 8, 1982, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), Public Law 97-252, 96 Stat. 730 (1982) was signed into law on September 8, 1982 by President Reagan. The details of the USFSPA are in 10 U.S.C.§1408. The effective date was retroactively set to 25 June 1981. State courts can award up to 50 percent of the military member’s retired pay (or up to 65 percent with court-ordered child support included) in a divorce.
How can the Congress of the United States convert “Pay to Property” like a car or a building?
- If the Retired Military Member dies, this property vanishes
- If the Retired Military Member is convicted of infractions under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the property vanishes
- If the Retired Military Member gives up his or her citizenship for another country, the property vanishes
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) was passed by Congress in 1982. The USFSPA provides a State court the legal right to consider military services retired pay as marital property and divide it between the spouses. Congress’ passing of the USFSPA was caused by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in McCarty v. McCarty in 1981.
In the McCarty v. McCarty decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that military retired pay could not be divided as community property without congressional authorization. Hence, this ruling effectively precluded state courts from dividing military retired pay as an asset of the marriage. Justice Blackmun, writing for the majority, stated that allowing a state to divide retired pay would threaten “grave harm to ‘clear and substantial’ federal interests.” Accordingly, the Supremacy Clause of Article VI preempted the State’s attempt to divide military retired pay. In 1982, Congress enacted Public Law 97-252, commonly known as the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, or USFSPA.
While the underlying intent may have been well intended, the past 25 plus years have resulted in implementation at the State level well beyond the intent of Congress. We have seen a dramatic change in our society and the social norms that may have existed in prior times. The inequalities that have arisen have caused hardship on those that have given of themselves to support freedom, the military service members and their current families.
This site provides information on the law to all active duty and retired members of our armed forces and elected officials that have the power to repeal this unfair law.
Visit The USFSPA Liberation Support Group and http://10usc1408.com for more information.