West Virginia Military Divorce Information

How West Virginia Historically Applies the USFSPA Law

West Virginia treats the service members retirement pay as a divisible asset in military divorce.


Looking for a USFSPA Divorce Case Setting Precedent in West Virginia?

These cases may be helpful if you are going through a West Virginia military divorce and want to know more about treatment of retired pay.

  • 1987: Butcher v. Butcher, 357 S.E.2d 226: Applied the law to declare both vested and nonvested military
    retirement income to be marital property subject to equitable distribution, and permits a court to use the USFSPA to award a spouse a share of gross retirement pay
  • 1989 Chamberlain v. Chamberlain, 181 W.Va. 468, 383 S.E.2d 100
  • 1993 case of Smith v. Smith, 190 W.Va. 402, 438 S.E.2d 582
  • 2012: Zickefoose v. Zickefoose, Civil Action No. 09-D-1501: Courts stated disability income is considered in spousal support calculations (see more below)

West Virginia Code of Law

  • 2001 W.Va. Code, 48-7-110: military retirement pay and division of marital property
  • 2001 W.Va. Code, 48-8-106: military retirement pay and spousal support

West Virginia and Military Disability Compensation

In the 2012 Zickefoose case, the issue was not whether the spouse would receive a portion of the disability pay but “whether the [disability] benefits can be considered in determining the amount of support to be received by the wife from the husband’s other income.” The final conclusion by the court was that disability disbursements would be included in computations.

West Virginia and Alimony Support
“Although that issue has been resolved in other jurisdictions with mixed results, an examination of those
authorities demonstrates that the predominant view would include the disability benefits among the
resources or recurring earnings of the payor spouse. This Court adopts that inclusionary view.”
see source

Note: This USFSPA information will be edited as more West Virginia cases and links become available. Our goal is to increase service member’s and former spouse’s knowledge of the law so they can move forward after divorce.

Do you know another case? Contribute additional 2013 (or prior year) USFSPA information using our easy submission form.

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Divorce and Retirement Benefits in West Virginia

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