Former Spouse Military Retired Pay – What to do BEFORE Moving and Changing Banks

When planning a move that includes a change of banks, Former spouses receiving direct payments from DFAS must notify DFAS of the new address and new bank info (i.e. bank routing and account number) prior to cutting ties with their old location or bad things might happen.  Notice must be submitted to DFAS in writing at:

Assistant General Counsel for Garnishment Operations
P.O. Box 998002
Cleveland, OH 44199-8002

Here’s the bad news that otherwise might happen.  DFAS’ guidance states that1:

  • “The former spouse has a continuing duty to provide [DFAS] with correct payment instructions.”
  • “If a former spouse’s payments are returned due to erroneous payment instructions (i.e. invalid address or incorrect account number for direct deposit payments), then [DFAS] will send notice to the last known correspondence address that, unless new payments instructions are received within 30 days of the date of the notice, payments will stop.”
  • “If the former spouse submits new payment instructions after the payments have been terminated, then [DFAS] will restart payments on a current basis, and will not make up any missed payments.”

Ouch!  Think ahead.  A little planning can avoid unnecessary financial stress during a move and change of banks.

Author Jim Cramp is a retired active duty colonel and the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm, PLLC.  The firm provides a spectrum of family law-related services to clients in the greater San Antonio region, across the United States and throughout the world.  The firm specializes in Federal Civil Service and Military Divorce matters.  The firms also provides Wills and Estates and Probate services.

Note1:   Dept of Defense Financial Management Regulation 7000.14-R, Volume 7B, Chapter 29, Paragraph 291101.