This month we’ve been talking about veterans’ disability benefits and spousal support: an issue that has been a confusing matter for state courts and an emotional matter for many injured veterans going through divorce.
Let’s look at two stories of two different veterans who fought the system to keep their full VA disability benefits despite divorce:
- Alan Cote. When this veteran sought a divorce from his wife Carol Cote, the divorce court included his Social Security disability and veterans’ disability payments while calculating the alimony he should pay to his ex-spouse. Cote did not pay his full spousal support as ordered by the court and his checks were garnished. He argued that the garnishment went against the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (FCCPA) and that his veterans’ disability should not have been included in the calculations – and won in his state Supreme Court hearing.
- Peter James Barclay. This former member of the Air Force began receiving veterans’ disability benefits after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the Oklahoma City bombing. When he and his wife decided to divorce after twenty years of marriage, he decided to fight when she asked for part of his VA disability payments in the divorce settlement. Barclay will need four Supreme Court judges to agree to hear the case before the federal government will act.
Do you have a legal issue relating to your Texas veterans’ disability benefits, or do you need assistance securing such benefits? Speak with a Houston disability attorney today at Morgan & Weisbrod to learn more about your case.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.