Survivor Benefit Plans and Military Divorce: Defending Against or Claiming Former-Spouse SBP Coverage

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, June 2, 2017

This CLE webinar will prepare family law attorneys to represent military spouses seeking Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage and service members defending against SBP coverage for a former spouse in the event of a divorce. The panel will discuss strategies for service members or retirees attempting to deny SBP coverage to a former spouse, outline factors to consider in evaluating whether or not a spouse should demand SBP coverage, and review recent court cases dealing with SBP disputes in military divorces.


The SBP allows service members to provide for certain beneficiaries by purchasing an annuity that pays a defined monthly benefit upon the service member’s death. The benefit amount is a percentage of the service member’s retirement benefits and the beneficiary receives benefits for the duration of his or her lifetime. Service members must elect to participate in the SBP—typically at the time of retirement—and pay premiums based on the amount of coverage elected.

In a military divorce, an election for former-spouse coverage under the SBP gives income protection to a service member’s former spouse. However, SBP coverage can become a contested issue when coverage for a former spouse precludes coverage for a current spouse.

In many cases, the service member or retiree does not want the former spouse to have SBP coverage for a variety of reasons, including cost, marriage of short duration, subsequent remarriage, or the contentious circumstances surrounding a divorce. Spouses may automatically demand SBP coverage even when it is not the most effective method for ensuring an interest in the service member’s military retirement benefits.

Understanding the costs, benefits and implementation of the SBP and former-spouse coverage is critical. Practitioners must know the deadlines for application, selection of the base amount, and who will pay the premiums.

Listen as our panel of expert family law attorneys discusses the complexities of former-spouse coverage under the SBP. The panel will discuss considerations and strategies for counsel to service members and spouses seeking to avoid or claim benefits, drafting techniques for ensuring the settlement agreement protects the client’s interest in SBP coverage and benefits, and the key procedural rules and deadlines for making an effective SBP election.


  1. Overview of SBPs
  2. Former-spouse SBP election
  3. Drafting settlement agreements to address SBP coverage
  4. Strategies for servicemembers
  5. Strategies for spouses


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What factors should spouses consider when deciding whether to demand SBP coverage?
  • How have courts dealt with SBP coverage disputes?
  • What strategies can help servicemembers avoid SBP coverage for a former spouse?
  • What settlement agreement drafting techniques are most effective for avoiding SBP disputes?


Wm. John Camp, Atty
John Camp Law, Warner Robins, Ga.

With a focus on family law, Mr. Camp counsels military and federal civil service clients in addressing their family law matters, particularly in the areas of federal benefits, pensions, child support, and complex custody and visitation matters. He is a Retired Air Force Judge Advocate and has 43 years of experience as an attorney. Mr. Camp is a frequent speaker on dividing military and federal retirement pensions, among other topics.

G. Brentley Tanner, Partner
Sullivan & Tanner, Raleigh, N.C.

As a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law, Mr. Tanner represents clients in all aspects of family law including separation agreements, pre-marital agreements, post-marital agreements, custody and visitation, support matters, property division, Military Pension Division Orders, Certified Orders Acceptable for Processing, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, and litigation. He has extensive experience with family law involving service members and spouses.

Live Webinar

Live Webinar $147.00

Includes Early Discount Savings of $50.00 (through 06/02/17)

Add a colleague on the same connection in the same room for only $97.00 in the shopping cart or by calling customer service.

This webinar is eligible for at least 1.5 general CLE credits.

CLE credits are not available for PR.

*In KS, OH, PA, for more than 1 attendee on the connection you must contact Strafford CLE via email or call 1-800-926-7926 ext. 35 prior to the program for special instructions.


CLE On-Demand - Streaming Video

Includes recorded streaming video of full program plus PDF handouts.

On-demand is the only recorded format recognized for CLE credits in DE, IN, KS, LA, MS, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, VA, WI.

AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN*, KS, KY, LA, ME, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NH**, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH*, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY (Note: Some states restrict CLE eligibility based on the age of a program. Refer to our state CLE Map for additional information.)

*Only available for attorneys admitted for more than two years. For OH CLE credits, only programs recorded within the current calendar year are eligible - contact the CLE department for verification.

**NH attendees must self-determine if a program is eligible for credit and self-report their attendance.

CLE On-Demand Video $147.00
Available 48 hours after the live event

Includes Early Discount Savings of $50.00 (through 06/02/17)

How does this work?

Recorded Event

Includes full event recording plus handouts (available after live webinar).

Strafford is an approved provider and self-study CLE credit is available in most states.

AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KY, ME, MN, MO, MT, ND, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WY (Note: Some states restrict CLE eligibility based on the age of a program. Refer to our state CLE Map for additional information.)

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording.

Additional copies of a recording can be purchased at a discount. Please call Strafford Customer Service toll-free at 1-800-926-7926 ext 10 or email to place your order.

Recorded Webinar Download $147.00
Available 48 hours after the live event

Includes Early Discount Savings of $50.00 (through 06/02/17)

How does this work?

Recorded Audio Download (MP3) $147.00
Available 24 hours after the live event

Includes Early Discount Savings of $50.00 (through 06/02/17)

How does this work?

DVD (Slide Presentation with Audio) $147.00 plus $9.45 S&H
Available ten business days after the live event

Includes Early Discount Savings of $50.00 (through 06/02/17)

How does this work?

Registration Plus Recorded Event

Best value!

Live Webinar & Webinar Download $224.00

Includes Special Savings of $170.00 (through 06/02/17)

Live Webinar & Audio Download $224.00

Includes Special Savings of $170.00 (through 06/02/17)

Live Webinar & DVD $224.00 plus $9.45 S&H

Includes Special Savings of $170.00 (through 06/02/17)


Strafford webinars offer several options for participation: online viewing of speaker-controlled PowerPoint presentations with audio via computer speakers or via phone; or audio only via telephone (download speaker handouts prior to the program).  Please note that our webinars do not feature videos of the presenters.

Early Registration
Discount Deadline
June 2, 2017
(7 days)

or call 1-800-926-7926

Can't Attend the Live Program?

CLE Credits By State

See CLE State Map >

or call 1-800-926-7926

Customer Reviews

The CLE was very practical and to the point for a family law practitioner. There was no time wasted.

Bruce Clement

Clement Law Center

The CLE covered exactly what was advertised and it was geared to a person with my practice background and level of expertise.

Aliza Organick

Washburn University School of Law

There was a tremendous amount of information presented in a very limited time period and the outline of topics was very well organized.

Jonathan Hally

Clark and Feeney

The CLE was reasonably priced and good quality therefore a very good value.

Jim Proctor

Meridian Advantage

The program provided good information and suggestions on a topic of current interest.

Robert W. Gin

Griswold Law Offices

or call 1-800-926-7926

Family Law Advisory Board

Gunnar J. Gitlin


Gitlin Law Firm

Lynne Z. Gold-Bikin


Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby

Randall M. Kessler

Founding Partner

Kessler & Solomiany

Paula G. Kirby

Paula G. Kirby

Christopher C. Melcher


Walzer & Melcher

Julia Swain


Fox Rothschild

Charles F. Vuotto, Jr.


Tonneman Vuotto Enis & White

or call 1-800-926-7926

Our Guarantee

Strafford webinars are backed by our 100% Unconditional Money-Back Guarantee: if you are not satisfied with any of our products, simply let us know and get a full refund. For more information regarding complaints and refunds, please contact us at 1-800-926-7926 ext 10. Complaints regarding this program can be submitted via the course evaluation found in the “Thank you” e-mail at the end of the course.