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If My Husband Revokes My Benefits, Will I Have to Pay Money Back?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband has already transferred his GI Bill benefits to me. I have enrolled in school and I’m in the beginning of the fall semester. We are now filing for divorce. He has told me he is going to wait to revoke the benefits, but I don’t think he will. If the divorce gets finalized and/or he revokes the benefits in the middle of this semester, will I have to pay back the money even though tuition for this semester has already been paid for me?

A: Your divorce won’t affect your Post 9/11 GI Bill transferred benefits. Even if your husband revokes your benefits, most likely you would not have to pay anything back, but that decision will be made by the VA.

I say that because the VA’s policy for students who run out of benefits mid-semester is they will continue paying to get the students to the end of a term, instead of cutting them off mid-way through a term. If your husband revokes benefits, then you would in fact run out. It sounds like you are aware that as the sponsor, he retains the right to revoke and reallocate benefits as he chooses while he is still active and even after he is retired.

One thing I’m hearing from spouses getting divorced, is that some are writing into their divorce decrees that they keep their Post 9/11 GI Bill transferred benefits.  If divorced, you will need a way to support yourself, so those education benefits are vital to your post-divorce success. Ask your lawyer about it and see if that is feasible.

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