Conversion of Military Retirement to VA Disability Payments Under Review by US Supreme Court

| Dec 14, 2016 | Military Divorce |

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The federal government has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Arizona Supreme Court decision on the issue of whether the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act bars a domestic relations court from ordering indemnity for a post-judgment conversion of military retirement to VA disability payments.

Massachusetts, like Arizona, requires a military member who reduces the former spouse’s retirement pay post-divorce by waiving a portion of the military retirement to receive VA disability, to indemnify the former spouse for the lost money. This is the majority rule in most, but not all states.

What is interesting is that the government wants the Supreme Court of the United States to review the case not to overturn it, but to affirm the Arizona decision requiring indemnity, in order to resolve the issue for that minority of states which have interpreted the law as barring indemnity.

It’s likely that the Court will review the matter, and therefore we should see a decision by early summer.

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