Former Spouse

SBP allows election of coverage for former spouses. Costs and benefits under this option are identical to those for spouse coverage. This web page highlights key aspects of former spouse coverage.

Election of coverage for a former spouse PRECLUDES coverage of the current spouse and/or children of the current spouse.

When former spouse coverage is elected, the current spouse must be informed. Only one SBP election may be made. If there is more than one former spouse, the member must specify which one will be covered.


When electing the former spouse option, a member must send DFAS a properly executed DD Form 2656-1 signed by both the member and the former spouse. It must state:
  1. Whether the election is made in order to comply with a court order; or,
  2. Whether the election is made to comply with a voluntary written agreement related to a divorce action, and if so, whether that voluntary agreement is part of a court order for divorce, dissolution, or annulment.
Benefit Payments

See Spouse Benefits.

Former Spouse Remarriage

See Spouse Benefits.

SBP Costs (Premiums)

See "Spouse" Costs and Benefits


Former spouse and children coverage may also be elected. The children covered are the eligible children from the marriage of the member to the covered former spouse. The children will only receive SBP payments if the former spouse remarries before age 55 or dies. Eligible children will divide 55 percent of the covered retired pay in equal shares. See Spouse or Former Spouse and Children for more information.

Changes Due to Divorce After Retirement

If you have spouse coverage and later divorce, review Stopping SBP.