Q: I am a civilian and my husband is active duty, we are getting a divorce. Am I entitled to his VA loan benefit for a home for our child and me?
A: Sadly, I've written a lot about marriages breaking up in this column. When it comes to divorce, my best advice is to find a competent attorney that is extremely familiar with the unique characteristics of military service and all that comes with (and because of) it. This includes sort of abstract things like benefits, allowances, entitlements, retirement, etc. So, while military retirement, active-duty income, and even the requirement for your husband to provide an allowance to house you and your child may be up for grabs and debatable, his VA loan entitlement is not. Unfortunately, you cannot use his VA loan benefit.
Be sure to protect yourself, and your child, by finding quality representation. To be fair, both parties should go on with this new chapter of their lives with emergency funds intact, a plan for housing as well as education funding for the kiddo. Another consideration that is often overlooked is ensuring sufficient life insurance is in place with the proper beneficiaries to continue child support payments should something happen to your ex while your child is still a minor. The best of luck to you!
June Lantz Walbert is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner with USAA Financial Planning Services. She is also a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve with 20 years of service. Walbert's basic branch is Air Defense Artillery. She writes a weekly advice column, " Ask June " on military.com. Follow June @AskJune_usaa.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.
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