Would you give your ex-wife half of your disability pay from the military or choose to go to jail?
If your name is Terry Lynn you would have picked Jail. I was just going to check my Email and head to bed today, however I stumbled across this article. To give you the skinny on the situation, Lynn was in court Wednesday and refused to give a portion of his VA Disability to his ex-wife. To paint that picture a little clearer, she is asking for half of $1,500/month. Lynn Stated that he had already bought her a house and helped in other ways. Clearly she was the one that was injured in the military right? She obviously needs that help…RIGHT?!
I’ve heard of some pretty bad laws before, but again hats off to Florida for having the stupidity to pass this one. I can understand giving partial retirement pay, but to demand that a Veteran give up their compensation for a disability to someone no longer in their life is asinine.
Many states have passed laws in order to protect veterans from situations like this. Florida has yet to grasp the idea. In most cases the money that is received by these veterans is applied to bills and other medical expenses. Just to give a short back and forth description as to why I’ll share this:
Under USFPA, disposable retirement pay is subject to allocation by the courts. Disposable
retirement pay is calculated prior to deduction of federal, state and local income tax and is
essentially the gross amount the service member is receiving.
What about disability retirement pay?
Disability retirement pay is not subject to division or apportionment to the spouse under the
USFSPA. The U.S. Supreme Court in Mansell v. Mansell, 490 U.S. 581 (1989) held that
veteran’s disability pay was not divisible by state courts. The First DCA in Florida held that
USFSPA only empowers state courts to divide disposable retired pay. McMahon v. McMahon,
567 So. 2d 976 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990). In McMahon the court reversed a separation agreement that
allowed the wife to receive retirement pension derived from the husband’s disability and
remanded for a determination of what portion of his retirement was not compensation for the
disability. The Florida Supreme Court went on further to say that a property settlement
agreement for division of military disability benefits is unenforceable (division of non-disability
military retirement pay is still enforceable. Abernethy v. Fishkin, 699 So. 2d 235 (Fla. 1997).
For further reading on this check out http://menonlyfamilylawonly.com/legal-lesson-%E2%80%93military-retirement/
I applaud Lynn for his efforts to stand up and make some noise about this issue.
How would you take it if you were in this situation? Would you willingly fork over the money you desperately depend on to keep a normal lifestyle or get hauled away in handcuffs. Apparently some people like Lynn’s ex-wife will abuse the system and steal what is clearly not owed to them.
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