In a divorce in North Carolina, the property of the marital estate must be divided in a way that is equitable, but not necessarily an even 50-50 split. Tangible assets, like the family home, are often one of the first issues to be discussed. Yet it is important to remember that intangible assets, like retirement benefits, must also be divided.
Many retirement accounts have vesting requirements and are governed by state contract laws. In a military divorce, however, federal law also applies. Notably, a spouse may qualify for a portion of his or her military spouse's retirement benefits even if the marriage did not last ten years.
The intersection of state and federal law can raise complex questions in a military divorce. For that reason, military couples should consult with an attorney who is both licensed in North Carolina and familiar with the nuances of military retirement benefits, including the division of military pensions. The attorneys at the Hardin Law Firm fit that bill.