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How are VA benefits impacted by a military divorce?

New Mexico residents who served in the armed forces are entitled to certain benefits. Military benefits are available for military members; however, the availability of these benefits is constrained by more than the number of years served in the military. If the service member has gone through marriage dissolution, this could impact how certain benefits are awarded as well.

How are VA benefits impacted by a military divorce? In general, a divorce can take a major toll on the credit and finances of the spouses of any divorce. However, for military members seeking to get a VA mortgage after a divorce, there are some considerations if the military member owned a home with an ex-spouse and a mortgage is attached to it.

If a VA loan entitlement was used to purchase a home during the marriage and an ex-spouse was awarded the home in the divorce, a military member's portion of the entitlement remains inaccessible until the loan is either repaid in full via home loan refinance or satisfied through a sale of the home or other means.

The completion of a military divorce will most likely impact the military member's financial situation. However, in cases where alimony and child support are awarded, this could drastically change the situation. After a divorce, a military spouse may go from a two-income house to a one-income household. This could greatly reduce the military member's income, making it harder to meet the VA debt-to-income guidelines for a home loan. However, if the military member is a recipient of alimony or child support that could counter against the loss of income.

Like any divorce, a military divorce can alter the life of the spouses, making it important to understand what military benefits are available and how the divorce process could impact benefits.

Source:, "How To Get A VA Mortgage After A Divorce," Chris Birk, Nov. 17, 2015

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