Tucson, AZ- A recent decision by the Arizona Supreme Court will impact divorce settlements for spouses of disabled military members. The decision means some ex-military spouses will receive a smaller divorce settlement.

The Decision in Howell v. Howell

The case before the Arizona, Howell vs. Howell, centered on a couple who got divorced in 1991. At the time of their divorce, the pension John Howell received was considered a marital asset under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), a federal law that states marital assets should be split between 50/50.

Military.com reports that in 2005., John Howell received a 20 percent disability rating from the VA and decided to draw some income from his retirement benefits under pension fund offset rules. That decision resulted in a drop in his ex-wife Sandra’s pension.

Sandra Howell took her case to court seeking to recover the $125 a month she lost in income because her husband elected to receive disability benefits. An appeals court sided with Mrs. Howell and ordered her ex-husband to make up the difference in her pension.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in John Howell’s favor in mid-May, ruling that disability benefits for military members do not count as retirement income amidst a divorce. The ruling was met with praise from some veterans groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, but advocates for military spouses say the ruling will have a negative economic impact on former spouses who rely on the income.

Justices said judges should consider how an offset could affect a divorce settlement when dividing a couple’s assets.

Speak with a Divorce Attorney in Arizona

If you need spousal support, USAttorneys can connect you with a divorce lawyer in Arizona to look out for your best interests. They understand how the courts determine spousal support and will make sure you get enough spousal support to keep your divorce from ruining your finances.

If you are getting a divorce and need spousal support, let USAttorneys connect you with an expert in divorce matters. We can connect you with an experienced divorce lawyer in Queen Creek, Arizona who will strive to get you the best divorce settlement possible.

USAttorneys can connect you with an experienced divorce lawyer in Tucson. They will use their experience and knowledge to get the best possible divorce settlement. Call and set up a consultation to learn what steps you can take to ensure your satisfied with your divorce settlement. If you plan to ask for spousal support, speak to a divorce lawyer to explain how you can get financial support following your divorce.