Service members who served on active duty after September 10, 2001, may qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33). Most service members know whether they qualify for this Transfer of Entitlement (TOE) benefit. If they have unused benefits, they can transfer those benefits to their spouse or children. If a service member is about to divorce, this is an opportunity to transfer a benefit of value should an ex- spouse need, or just want, education to further his or her career. It does not have to be used right away; spouses have 15 years after the service member separates from active duty to use the benefit. TOE benefits could be used as a negotiating point with regards to spousal support, particularly if the spouse has been out of the workforce and needs to increase his or her job qualifications.

GI Bill benefits can be used for tuition, housing and books and supplies.

It’s important to know that TOE can only go to a spouse or children, so if the intent is to transfer the benefit to a soon to be former spouse, IT MUST be completed prior to the date of divorce.

TOE benefits always belong to the service member, and the transfer can be revoked by them at any time. If TOE goes to a former spouse, the marriage settlement agreement should contain a clause holding the service member financially responsible should the benefit be revoked after the divorce.

See the link below for great info, full program benefits, how to apply, contact phone #’s and emails, etc.

As always, special rules apply to the National Guard and Reservists. For these service members, see the link below: