REFORM/REPEAL UNIFORMED SERVICES FORMER SPOUSES' PROTECTION ACT
ACTIVE AND RETIRED MILITARY
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Those of us whose signatures appear below tender this petition for the relief of those tens of thousands of members of the Uniformed Services already impacted by, as well as those potentially vulnerable to, the Uniformed Services FormerSpouses Protection Act (USFSPA); Public Law 97-252; 10 USC 1408 et.seq.
We believe that the USFSPA discriminates against members of the Uniformed Services who become divorced by subjecting them to mandates for the distribution of marital assets not applicable to other government employees (including members of Congress) and private citizens of the United States. This is inimical to the guarantee of equal justice under law provided by the constitution.
Unlike their contemporaries in the civilian sector, retired members of the Uniformed Services must meet, for life, certain obligations to their 'former employer,' while the ex-spouses, who share these benefits, share none of the obligations. Moreover, by a series of remarriages, an ex-spouse may qualify for USFSPA payments from multiple sources while a succession of Uniformed Services retirees remain indentured to their former spouses for life.
Individuals married to members of the Uniformed Services have available to them, in divorce court, all the remedies available to their contemporaries in the civilian sector. While the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the retired pay of members of the Uniformed Services has none of the characteristics of marital property, there is no legal prohibition of its use as a source of alimony and child support. The undersigned have no objection to its use in those roles, but do strongly object to its award for life, even if the benefiting ex-spouse remarries.
The undersigned also believes that USFSPA payments should be based on the rank/rate/pay grade at the time of divorce, that the disability pay of the member should be protected in a divorce action, and that there should be a statute of limitations on the time allotted to claim benefits under the USFSPA during a divorce.
The undersigned view 'reform' of the USFSPA as an interim remedy, pending action, ultimately, to repeal it to restore fairness and equity to the military divorce process.