In general, all sources of income must be considered by the court in determining support, whether the income is taxable or tax-free, whether the source is wages, rents, royalties, VA benefits, military retired pay, Combat-Related Special Compensation, Social Security Disability payments or even an inheritance from your Uncle Louie! And the provisions of Title 38 make it clear that Congress intended that VA benefits may be considered as a source of income for support purposes.
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Not only are there graduated benefit schedules, based on how many dependents a veteran has, but there is an apportionment procedure to use when a veteran is not discharging his or her responsibility for support. The apportionment procedures are found at 38 U. Is VA compensation tax-exempt? What about military retired pay? VA compensation is tax-exempt, while military retired pay is not. Can VA benefits be garnished for child support or alimony? Yes, but only if the individual who is receiving VA benefits has waived military retired pay to obtain the VA payments.
This is set out in Title 42 of the U. Code, Section , and in 5 C. Part Can VA benefits be considered as a source of income in awarding child support or alimony? Yes, although some states may have cases or statutes which exempt VA disability benefits. In Rose v. Rose , the U.
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Supreme Court reviewed a contempt judgment against a veteran whose sole source of income was his VA disability compensation. Veterans' disability benefits compensate for impaired earning capacity, H. Additional compensation for dependents of disabled veterans is available under 38 U. But the paucity of the benefits available under ' [now 38 U.
Moreover, as evidenced by ' a 2 [now found at 38 U. The summary of Rose v. The same principle applies to alimony. There is no justification in disobeying a judge whose ruling is based on the well-recognized decision of the U. Supreme Court. That court wrote that the U.
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Supreme Court in Rose v. Repash decision stated that the VA statutes barring attachment of benefits did not apply in a spousal maintenance alimony case because a wife seeking support was not a creditor under the statute.
Allen, , Mississippi Steiner v. Steiner, , Wisconsin In re Marriage of Weberg, and numerous other states which uphold the power of state courts to use VA benefits as a source of income in determining family support. The states and the U. Supreme Court are virtually unanimous in their rulings on this.
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It looks like some more myths have been making the rounds! This happens all the time when a good lawyer representing the support recipient reads the U. Code — specifically 42 U. Code , which allows this procedure the garnishment of VA payments because the individual has waived military retired pay to obtain VA benefits. The VA will give it to anyone to whom the court awards this money when these circumstances are present. Informal separations without a document detailing the terms of your separation, that is , how you will share the marital assets, what do you do about joint credit cards, who pays maintenance and how you will distribute assets acquired during the separation, can cause difficulties down the road leading to litigation.
In order to move forward, you need to know who gets which assets, who is responsible for debts, how much alimony is to be paid and for how long, etc. The legal separation agreement helps settle these issues, and if you ultimately decide to divorce, it can easily become your divorce settlement agreement. In general terms, each state falls into one of three broad categories:. Yes, of course.
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Not everyone opts for a legal separation based solely on financial reasons. In some cases, other considerations come into play. Fo r example, some couples remain separated for religious reasons. One spouse, or both, may come from a religious background that frowns upon divorce. Separation may be the optimal choice for them, too.
Evaluate your long-term financial goals and create a new investment plan to reflect your situation. Make sure your assets are properly protected. You need sufficient health insurance , car insurance , and homeowners insurance. Health insurance these days can be prohibitively expensive. Coordinate with your ex to determine how your children will be cared for if something happens to one or both of you.
Divorces are usually painful financially and emotionally, and require you to adjust your perspective. And you can lay the groundwork for that right now. Keep in mind that your goal during a divorce is to split up the relationship and assets fairly and amicably.
Old emotions will only get in the way of that and make it difficult, if not downright impossible, to achieve. Do your best to keep a cool head, let go of the past, and look forward to the future. Follow the steps and suggestions above to get you started. All Rights Reserved. Money Crashers. About Money Crashers. Recent Stories. Read more.
Advertiser Disclosure X Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers. Miranda Marquit. Views Shares Share This Article. Dig Deeper. Follow MoneyCrashers. Trending Articles. Become a Money Crasher! Join our community. Share this Article. Before You Divorce Community vs. Find out how to apply here. Miranda Marquit Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in personal finance. She writes for several web sites, and her work has appeared in numerous online and offline publications.
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