Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney. I hope I may be of assistance with your questions. Military disability is governed by Federal law; however, a divorce is governed by Washington law. The court may be able to consider your military disability pay as income and that may affect child support or spousal maintenance. Regardless of the nature of injury, or how it occurred, your disability may affect the pension payments received by both parties.
The monthly dollar amount payable to the civilian spouse under a Washington settlement agreement or court order that orders a percentage of monthly disposable retired pay to go to that spouse could be later reduced if the military spouse with a disability rating of less than 50 percent elects to waive part of the retirement to get disability.
Consider this fictional example:
If you are being charged more than 50% of your gross income, your attorney should file a Motion for Modification of Child Support and Alimony. Your attorney would then present the judge the evidence of the exact amount of your monthly income.
Remember...in calculating your monthly income the Washington State family court will look at both your income from your job and also your disability income, combined.
If you don't have an attorney you may petition the court yourself; however, because of the complexities of calculating income it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney.
Do you remember if during the divorce proceedings whether you were asked to waive or transfer the GI benefit to your ex-spouse? GI Bill benefits are not allowed to be part of the equitable division of assets; however, the court may award the benefit to the ex-spouse instead of rehabilitative alimony.
Unfortunately since you did not attend the final hearing or have an attorney present on your behalf, there really is no way of knowing how the judge came up with the numbers. Based on on the math you have provided me, you very well may have a valid argument for modification of the final divorce decree.
No problem. It is in your best interest to hire an attorney. Just because the divorce is final that does not mean the terms cannot be modified.
Please let me know if you have any other questions and please remember to rate my answer so that I may receive credit. Thank you!