The Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI)

The VSI is a particular kind of military retirement benefit that sometimes enters into military divorce settlements.

VSIs are one of the two main types of military early retirement programs. VSIs and Special Separation Benefits (SSBs) are two ways the military eliminates officers whose careers are not advancing.

For divorce purposes, the single most important distinction in classifying military severance benefits is determining whether they are voluntary or involuntary. If an officer leaves the military voluntarily, his severance benefits are often considered lost retirement benefits; when he or she leaves involuntarily, his benefits are more likely to be considered compensation for lost future wages.

VSIs are periodic payments over time; SSBs are lump-sum payments. Both the VSI and SSB are voluntary, and "[f]or this reason, most court decisions to date have held that VSIs and SSBs are essentially alternative forms of retirement pay, and as such are divisible by state courts."

Both VSIs and SSBs are alternative forms of retirement, but that in itself does not mean they are always marital. If the owning spouse accumulated the benefits with service before marriage, his or her retirement benefits are partly non-marital.

A service person who leaves the military with less than 20 years of service receives no retirement benefits. When an officer leaves involuntarily, his benefits are considered compensation for lost future wages.



Useful Online Tools
  • Military Divorce Online - A premium divorce solution that will provide you with your completed documents and step-by-step filing procedures to do your own divorce in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. Works well for those in the mIlitary.
  • Negotiate Your Divorce Online - You do not have to spend thousands on a lawyer to reach an agreement. You will be surprised how easy it is to resolve your disputes through our innovative Divorce Negotiation CenterTM. It's FREE. Give it a try.

Suggested Reading
Divorce & the Military II Divorce & the Military II
DIVORCE AND THE MILITARY II is the newly published comprehensive guide for military members (active duty, reserve/guard, and retired), spouses, and their attorneys, on the Uniformed Services Former SpousesŐ Protection Act (USFSPA). The USFSPA is the federal law that permits the award of military retired pay in a divorce.

Author: Marsha L. Thole and Frank W. Ault


Recent Related Blog Posts
    All Military Blog Posts

Related Article Archives
International Issues
    All Article Archives

Related Categories
Child Relocation
Pensions & Divorce
    All Categories
Related Forums
Child Removal
DIY Divorce
Infidelity
Military Divorce
Pensions
    All Forums

Resources & Tools

Bookstore Promotion Discount

Start Your Divorce Online Start Your Divorce
Several Options to Get Started Today.
Divorce Tools Online Divorce Tools
Keeping it Simple to Get the Job Done.
Divorce Downloads Download Center
Instantly Download Books, Guides & Forms.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Books
Over 100 of the Best Divorce & Custody Books.
Negotiate Online Negotiate Online
Settle your Divorce and Save.
Custody and Support Tracking Custody Scheduling
Make Sure You Document Everything.
   
SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT (SCRA) -- Military members enjoy legal protection from divorce proceedings under the Service Members Civil Relief Act. A court can delay legal proceedings for the time that the service member is on active duty and for up to 60 days following active duty.

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

 

Featured Book Divorce & the Military II

Divorce & the Military II

Divorce & the Military II

 

Featured Download A Guide to Child Support Enforcement Against Military Personnel

A Guide to Child Support Enforcement Against Military Personnel

A Guide to Child Support Enforcement Against Military Personnel

View Military Resources in Our Online Bookstore


Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"