Update on Division of Veteran Disability Benefits

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Last week the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Howell v. Howell, siding with disabled veterans over their spouses when calculating how benefits should be divided. Normally in a divorce, retirement pay is divided between the veteran and the ex-spouse. Some qualifying disabled veterans can give up a portion of retirement pay in return for disability pay, which is preferable because the disability pay is not taxed. However, because the disability pay is not considered a marital asset, some states forced vets to make up the difference in additional payments to their former spouses.

The Supreme Court ruled that state courts did not have the authority to take disability benefits, regardless of the effect on the veteran’s ex-spouse.

This ruling could have big implications for both veterans who want to protect their income against divorce settlements and ex-spouses who have been awarded retirement pay without consideration for how future disability ratings may change their financial situations.

If you are concerned about this or any other divorce-related issue, contact us now.

Alex Jones Case Shows the Pain of Custody Battles

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If you’ve been watching local news lately, you know that last month local celebrity Alex Jones fought to keep and lost a custody battle with his ex-wife. Although Mr. Jones’ attorneys were able to get all but two videos introduced as evidence ruled inadmissible, other damaging statements by Mr. Jones in the past were admitted. Ultimately, the jury ruled against Mr. Jones 10 to 2.

Court dramas like this are why Attorney Eugene Haller encourages clients to keep the child custody process amicable and goal-oriented when possible. Options such as mediation and collaborative law allow parties to resolve differences in a less destructive and more cost effective manner. If you are seeking divorce or need representation in a custody dispute in Austin or the Central Texas area, contact the Law Office of Eugene Haller to talk about the choices available to you.

Lawmakers Trying to Make Divorce Harder

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Texas lawmakers are, once again, trying to take no-fault divorces off the table. Although most Texans would argue that treating the commitment of marriage more seriously is a positive thing, trying to enforce this by restricting the ability of unhappy spouses to move on helps no one. It would make the process of divorce more complicated, increase the hostility of the process by forcing parties to make allegations against one another, and put the children of the marriages through more stress.

The worst part about this legislation, however, is that Texans don’t even want it:

The good news is that this idea is pushed nearly every legislative session, and so far it has never passed. Unlike our lawmakers, Attorney Eugene Haller understands that the point of divorce is to move on, not to spend years fighting in the courts. If you are interested in a no-fault divorce, let us help you find your freedom.