Divorce can be tough for many military parents because they find it difficult to support their children after the separation. Even if they do not get to spend as much time with their kids as before, they still want their children to receive benefits from their military status. The military offers different financial opportunities that can help parents prepare for the future of their children.
As a military parent, you do not want your children to lose access to these financial advantages that you were able to provide them with in the marriage. Thankfully, there are ways your children can continue to receive some military benefits after the divorce, but it is dependent on several factors. It is paramount that you understand if your children can receive certain military benefits after your separation.
Cards and Tricare access
After the divorce, you need your children to get military dependent ID cards as soon as you turn in your dependent ID. Children should not have access to these cards until they are 10 unless they are living with the non-military spouse. This card is necessary for a child’s access to military benefits.
One of those benefits is the military health care program, Tricare. Your child can be on Tricare to help with their medical expenses until they turn 21 (or 23 if they go to college). If you want them to remain on the program after they age out, you can purchase the young adult version for them until they turn 26. However, your children will lose eligibility if they are married or serve on active duty in this time period.
Children can continue to utilize Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) benefits, allowing them to join you at different events and activities that the military offers. They can also access base exchange stores, but will not be able to shop at the commissary under their own ID cards.
However, these benefits are dependent on the amount of child support you are providing. If you provide less than 50 percent of it, then your children will not receive many benefits outside of Tricare. The only exception to the rule is if your service and marriage overlapped at least 20 years prior to the divorce.
You should inform your children what benefits they will be eligible for to continue to provide for them as best as you can after the divorce. These advantages can have a huge impact on the future of your children, so it is crucial that you are aware of what advantages are available from your service.