Who is considered a spouse for purposes of VA benefits?

To be recognized as a spouse of a Veteran for purposes of VA benefits and services, the marriage must be recognized under the law of the place where at least one of the parties resided at the time of marriage, or the law of the place where at least one of the parties resided when the claim or application was filed, or at a later date when the eligibility requirements were met. This requirement comes from one of the Federal laws that govern VA, 38 U.S.C. § 103(c). Additional guidance on determining whether VA can recognize a marriage for the purpose of Veterans' benefits can be found at www.va.gov/opa/marriage/.