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Sumner, WA 98390
United States


I would like to dedicate this page to all the gallant men and women who served their country in the armed forces of the United States. This site is dedicated to those who served and still serve that have been or will be affected by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act!

The main purpose of this site is to provide our active duty, reserve, veterans, and retired military personnel with information concerning the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, (USFSPA). As most are not aware if by chance they dissolve there marriage under the present law they are subject to forfeit half of their retired retainer pay as property to a remarried former spouse for life.

This law targets the Uniformed Services not only by its title, but by comparison with other retirement systems that cease payments to former spouses upon remarriage and an age factor ; assuming that one could suppose it is now the new husbands responsibility to support his wife .

For one reason or other payments stop with the CIA,Foreign Service,Survivor benefits and Social security . The (UNIFORMED SERVICES FORMER SPOUSE PROTECTION ACT) by its very title is discriminatory , if the law makers thought this was such a good law , it amazes me , why it was not called (UNITED STATES) FORMER SPOUSE PROTECTION ACT ,to protect all divorcees and include every ones retired pay to former spouses , civilian and military?

With women playing a much greater role in the military today and in the future this law is affecting a great deal more women now than it has in the past.In the event of a divorce uniformed women who retire must also share 1/2 their retainer with a remarried former husband. See and read some of the testimony from the House Veterans' Affairs Committee at:


It is disturbing and interesting to read in other published complaints that the very one who dropped the hammer on you, the military member ,gets off Scot free. Pension rights to former spouses of state judges cease upon remarriage of the former spouses.Also note the very ones who thought up this law and then enacted it excluded them self , (Congress and the Senate).

I still find it hard to swallow as well as most other Americans how they could grant them selves a 47% plus pay raise and create such a large GOLDEN PARACHUTE when they retire. Most of them will now retire on $70-80 thousand taxpayer dollars per yr. as a result. Eight times more per year than a retired E-6. The way I see it they could have included them selves in this law and hardly feel its effect or strain in the golden years.

One only need ask the IRS the basis for taxation of military retired pay.It is taxed as a current wage,which are in fact day to day earned for a continuing military obligation. The IRS does not tax community property,except in the case of military retired pay which was ordered divided by the state as a property asset, Why the discrimination? It is not classified as property to the member so how in the world can it be classified as property to the ex spouse?

Some lawyers such as the one in Nevada said he was a representing The American Bar Assoc. who testified at the hearing in favor of USFSPA have advertised and exploited 1/2 the military/ retainer pay you are sending to your remarried ex's and as a result are making a bundle. Judges appear in favor of USFSPA because it reduces the local welfare roles. See the web site at:

Congress and other bureaucracy including the IRS and some former spouses have twisted this law around to customize there needs and feed there greed,and you end up with the short end of the stick each and every month when you or the military finance complies with the court order garnishment. You are now financing the ex and the new husband with a higher standard of living in most cases while you have to eat grits to compensate for the loss of more than 1/2 of what was earned and had coming to you. as a result of 20 or more yrs. service . Mean while the wife and kids in the new family you may have later acquired suffer .

The erosion of promised benefits at enlistment such as a full retirement pension, life time medical and dental care , financing our own disability by having that portion you were to receive deducted from your monthly check. and then giving your retainer pay away as property to a remarried former spouse as well as the long hours trying to make do with less in all aspects of military life. The constant TDY separations from families to all the hot spots and remote tours demanded by your profession is steadily increasing and is one of the retention problems today in the armed forces.

They are and will continue to take their toll. as the exodus steadily increases. All the experienced career professionals and those with any sense are leaving. Industry has on the outside has a lot more to offer.It appears the leaders in a position to make the difference can not see the forest for the trees and are like the emperor with no clothes.


Like Mo and Billy , Joe says: "Keep the faith and maybe some day those who make the laws will restore our faith in government will see the problems and fix it."

To Whom it may Concern: How can military retainer pay be considered a property asset to only a former spouse? To my knowledge there is no Federal Law which states that a spouse earns a military retirement income for performing duty as a house wife! Nor is there a federal law that gives the military member a property right to his/her military retainer pay.

Federal Law clearly states that a military member is transferred to a reserve status upon retirement from active duty. That Law is Public Law 190, the "Armed Forces Volunteer Recruitment Act of 1945." A military member who is transferred to the reserve list will be subject to recall to active duty and the UCMJ until death. For this service the military member will receive a monthly wage based on a percentage of the active duty pay the member was receiving at time of transfer from active duty. So how can this pay be considered a property asset, prior to 1981?

Public Law 97-252 "Former Spouse Protection Act", gave the states the right to consider the military retainer pay a property asset as of "1982", the law was back dated to 1981, so as to overrule the United States Supreme Court decision McCarty. The McCarty decision clearly stated that military retainer pay was not a property asset, not even to the military member, much less a former spouse. Public Law 97-252 has now raised some additional constitutional questions which Congress has failed to address.

When did the federal laws which govern the military retainer pay change?

Is not the military members who was transferred to the reserves list still subject to recall and the UCMJ ?

Were the federal laws which govern military retainer pay misinterpret by State Courts , thus the reason for the United States Supreme Court McCarty decision?

What federal laws did the United States Supreme court base it's McCarty decision?

Where these federal laws and/or regulations changed?

What were the federal laws which govern the military retainer pay prior to the former spouse Act?

Did states have the legal right to classify military retired pay as a property asset prior to 1981?

If they did, then why the Supreme Court ruling in the McCarty case?

If state courts had the authority to change the classification of military retired pay, then why the need for the former spouse act (P.L 97-252)?

It's time to stop the cover up! It's been over 20 years since the Former Spouse Protection Act was passed. We now have thousands of our military members that have been placed in involuntary servitude to a remarried former spouse for life. Many of these former spouse have remarried. They still receive the military retainer pay as a property asset.

Many of our highly decorated military members have gone to jail, many have been placed into financial bankruptcy and disgrace by state courts because they refused to acknowledge that their retainer pay was a property asset. Could you as a Military Association answer the above questions and/or at least asked Congress to provide you with the answers?

Look forward to your reply.

Lewis E. Pugh Jr. CMSgt (Ret) U.S.A.F.

Facts About Military Retired/retainer pay

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