Brian D. Perskin & Associates

Divorce and Veteran’s Disability Benefits

If you get veteran's disability payments and are considering divorce, you may wonder if you will have to include this compensation as part of your income. This means that not only would you likely have to pay more in spousal support if you are receiving this money, but you would also have to split it with your spouse during distribution of assets. Currently, many states would allow your spouse access to this money after divorce, but there is some confusion with this process since not every state seems to agree. If you receive this kind of compensation and are facing divorce, you should consider how it may work, and then get a good lawyer.

The Rules

The law on the distribution of veteran's disability benefits after divorce can be confusing. Most states require that you include the money in your total income when spousal support is being calculated. This could affect you if you make a lot more money than your spouse, as you will likely have to pay him or her some of your disability benefits every month when you pay alimony or child support. In addition, depending on which state you are in, you will have to split this income with your spouse as you divide up your assets.

However, some people have fought this decision, using a federal law as the basis for their argument. The law says that veteran's disability benefits cannot be levied or seized by creditors or anyone else. The money also cannot be taxed. Some lawyers argue that this law also prevents veteran's disability payments from being divided during divorce since they are supposed to belong to the veteran only.

Reasons Your Spouse May Be Entitled To the Money

But others argue that your spouse should have access to the money because your disability has affected the entire family. Due to the disability, you probably could not have a typical job or even lead a typical life, which tends to have an effect on your spouse and children.

In fact, when you get married, your disability benefits are higher than when you are single. This is likely in recognition of the effects your disability may have on your spouse and kids. However, as with many arguments, there is another side to the story.

Reasons That You Should Get to Keep All the Money

It should be noted that even though your benefits increase when you get married, the extra income is once again reduced when you get divorced. This means that you already have less money coming in after the divorce, so you should not have to split that with your spouse.

Lawyers in favor of allowing veterans to keep the income to themselves after the divorce often mention that the spouse is not disabled after marrying a disabled veteran, so he or she should not be able to profit off the marriage for life. Unlike many veterans, their spouses should not have trouble finding a job or leading a normal life after divorce.

If you are a veteran wondering how your disability income will affect the divorce, you should talk to a lawyer. You deserve to know if you will have to pay more alimony or child support than usual, and if your disability benefits will be split along with your other assets.