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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I am a disabled veteran paying child support payments for 2

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I am a disabled veteran paying child support payments for 2 children. My ex-wife is doing everything she can to squeeze every dime out of me, while at the same time fighting for me not to see the kids. She used some medical records I had in my desk before I had to vacate the house so she could sell it. She used those records against me to force supervised visits with my own children. I had my doctor from the VA write me a letter disregarding any danger I could possibly pose to my children, but the court processes are very slow. My question at this time really focuses on my support payment. I currently must pay $980 in regular child support and alimony and another $550 or so to pay for child care. I have no problem supporting my children, but between my ex, her tactics, her hairstylist job where she doesn't report all of her true income, I'm a bit bewildered. I understand the Supreme Court decided that states have a right to use veterans disabled income in determining child support payments. The court didn't however that states can or can't look at veterans disability income using a different gradient than regular income. Considering that I will never be able to work or have the ability to increase my fortunes over time, I believe the states should look at my income differently. There is also the fact that I am disabled and medically needy and the use of my income is not only to replace lost wages but to keep my environment of living at the level which doesn't cause medical hardship. My environment of living has extraordinary requirments than a person with no disability would have. For these reasons, I believe my income should be considered distinctly and under a different criteria or calculation. I also know that the Supreme court stated that the $75 or so the VA gives for dependents is not full amount meant towards the children. The VA followed up in saying that veterans disability payments are meant for both the Veteran and immediate family. Since there is no set number, the VA plainly states that none of your income can be garnished directly from the state. This brings me to a number I have found to be the closest number to what amount a Veteran should be paying for their dependents. It is called DIC.

DIC is basically a survivor benefit your dependents receive after your service in some way causes your untimely demise. It states that for 2 children, that amount is $701. This is is a government reported and posted number for payment for purposes of support, I think it may have stronger merit in any court of law. I do not think $1500 per month is fair when I only receive $3000 in benefits. I also don't believe that $75 + $75 = $150 (dependent pay) is sufficient for support either. Do I have a case here to request my child support payment be changed to $701 not only because it is stated in VA policy, but because veterans benefits should be computed less aggressively for child support purposes, due to medical, service, and political issues.

Thanks for any help....
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Please note that for legal reasons my answers are only intended to be general/educational information rather than specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice, then you must consult with a local attorney in your jurisdiction.

You can certainly make the legal argument, but you'd be blazing new legal trails, and that means two very important things: (1) You'll be fighting an uphill battle, and (2) the fight could get expensive in legal fees since it is anything but routine.

Although your argument may make sense to you, you must keep in mind that comparing the DIC amount to child support is apples and oranges. The reason it's apples and oranges is because the DIC is determined by the federal government, and child support is determined by the state. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that the state has no requirement to model its child support laws after federal laws dealing with survivor benefits.

On the other hand, you may have a valid argument that due to your medical issues, your expenses are greater than an average person's expenses who earns $3000 per month and, therefore, the judge should take those extenuating circumstances into account an lessen your support payments.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then feel free to let me know, as I will be happy to clarify my answer or help with your follow-up questions. In the meantime, please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our discussion). Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!
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