Although federal law is clear, judges are often ignoring it and calculating veterans’ disability compensation into divorce settlements as a divisible asset. Very often these payments are the only assets a veteran has. When judges include it as income, it creates great hardship for those veterans, who rarely have the resources to hire legal help to contest the taking of their benefits.
Last year Fathers & Families’ legislative representative Michael Robinson successfully worked to pass California SB 285 (Wright) which protected disabled veterans’ VA disability compensation, and has worked with advocates and legislators from several other states on similar legislation.
One of the first of these is Indiana HB 1165. A military parent bill also modeled on SB 285, HB 1165 was signed into law last week by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Thanks to Indiana activist/lobbyist Lisa Wilken for her fine work on the bill.