The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA), 10 U.S.C. 1408, accomplishes two things:
- It recognizes the right of state courts to distribute military retired pay to a spouse or former spouse (hereafter, the former spouse), and
- It provides a method of enforcing these orders through the Department of Defense.
The USFSPA does not automatically entitle a former spouse to a portion of the member's retired pay.
A former spouse must have been awarded a portion of a member's military retired pay as property in their final court order.
The USFSPA also provides a method of enforcing current and/or previously owed (arrears) child support and current alimony awarded in the court order.