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VA Disability and Alimony Marriage has no overlap with military service

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dajoker12

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am an honorably discharged Veteran; I was active duty Army from 1997-2001. I was in the National Guard from 2003 until 2013. I am hoping that you are able to provide some clarification concerning VA disability compensation pay and alimony/maintenance. 
 
I was in the Army National Guard and was deployed under OEF from May 2010-July 2011 and OIF from April 2005-June 2006, and that is my only active duty period of service through the National Guard. My ETS date for the Army National Guard was in November of 2013. I was married in July of 2014 and had twin children with my spouse in June of 2016. We became separated in March 2019. I filed a claim for disability compensation in September 2017 with an intent to file date of July 2017. It was rated and mostly promulgated in June 2018 with two issues still deferred. I am currently rated at 100% and I claimed my spouse, the two children from my current marriage and a child from a previous relationship. 
 
I was under the impression that the VA disability compensation pay would be figured in for purposes of child support, which I have no issue with nor would I ever contest. Conversely I was told that that same money would not be calculated for purposes of maintenance/alimony as it could not be construed as a marital asset as she was never married to me while I was in the military; due to the our marriage never overlapping with my military service (there is an 8 month gap), I was told that she would not be eligible for VA disability pay for alimony. I know that VA disability pay is not considered a marital asset, and thus cannot be split, however, it can be used for child support and alimony. 
 
I have read many conflicting articles across the internet concerning the matter. Few, if any, deal with the circumstances in which I find myself in as most deal with Veterans and disability pay/military retirement pay and/or spouses that were married to the Veteran while they were in the military. 
 
Any clarification would be greatly appreciated. 
Edited by dajoker12
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4 hours ago, dajoker12 said:

I know that VA disability pay is not considered a marital asset, and thus cannot be split,

don't know who ever told you that exact phrase but as it sits it is mostly incorrect.

Each state has different laws on child support and alimony.

In some states, while your VA compensation is protected, it can be considered by the Divorce judge in deciding spousal support. In others it cannot be.

Federal law says that you will pay child support ordered by the court and all the receiving spouse has to do is submit the Divorce Decree and Child Support order to the Government and they will handle it directly.

It can get wonky having general discussions about this topic. For example say you have an income besides your Compensation, including SS. You "could" get a judge that says "Bob gets 3100 a month tax free plus earns 5k a month from a job, his ex gets 4 k out of what he earns a month". That judge will account for all your revenue, taxable and protected non-taxable and make a monetary decision on the total, but only order payment from the Income that is taxable and not protected. In states that allow that, you would have no way to appeal because in those states it is a matter of law that allows that type of math.

Then when Bob quits his job he has to go back to court and tell the judge "hey I am unemployed reduce the Decreed Amounts"  That judge then could only award child support but could not order you to give over Spousal support from your sole income of VA Compensation.

When it comes to divorce matters and VA Compensation make sure you have a good attorney.

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First of all, the VA does not make us wear tshirts that say "100 percent disabled Veteran", so I suggest you keep your finances to yourself and not bring it up.  

Your ex may not know about it, and you dont have to put "Veterans disability compensation" on your tax return.  

Dont give your ex "fuel" for a fire.  Its not required you paint a sign in your yard,

"Gasoline for lawnmower stored on shelf of locked shed", so that arsonists can easily find your gas tank.  

My accountant told me "not" to put VA disability comp on my tax return, so I dont.  

If your ex knows about your disability compensation, I still dont suggest you bring that issue up.  She may have forgotten about it, or, she may not have a clue about your finances.  

Dont lie, dont deceive, but dont volunteer more information than what is required of you.  

"Just because" someone asks you a question does not mean you are required to answer it.  I like the technique where you answer questions with questions.  Example:

Ex spouse:  "How much do you get in disability compensation from VA?"

Vet:   "Why would you want to know that?"  or "How is my military service relevant to our divorce?"  or  maybe even, "Let's not get in a mud slinging contest.  You can refuse to answer questions about who/when you started dating, and what occupation your boyfriend is, and I wont answer these, ok?"     Or, my favorite, "You dont want to know".   She probably has things she does not want you to know, so offer to not pressure her about those, if she does so likewise.  I also like the polite, "there are some things which are better left unsaid."  Last but not least, "I'd rather not talk about my disabilities, so, if you have things you dont want to bring up also, let's just drop it."  

     You get the idea.  Your compensation is not other people's business.  You should be able to choose whether or not you wish to disclose your disabilities.  

 

Edited by broncovet
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