Can I Get Alimony If My Ex Is On Disability
Leaving a marriage is rarely an easy decision. And financial concerns can only complicate matters. In many marriages, one partner is the primary bread-winner, but that can change over time, especially if that bread-winner becomes disabled and can’t work. And if your ex-spouse or soon-to-be ex is on disability insurance, can that affect your alimony or spousal support payments after a divorce?
Here’s how to figure it out.
Disability and Alimony
For those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, a divorce won’t affect those payments. However, SSDI benefits may be garnished to pay child support or alimony following a divorce. And if you were receiving spousal SSDI benefits during your marriage, those payments will remain the same.
If your ex-spouse qualifies for SSDI benefits, you might be eligible to receive alimony or spousal support if:
- You were married for ten years or more;
- You are at least 62 years old;
- You have not remarried; and
- You are not eligible for a larger Social Security payment based on your own earnings record.
Disability, Divorce, and Death
Additionally, if your ex-spouse dies following the divorce, you may still be eligible to receive auxiliary benefits. Alimony or spousal support payments from SSDI benefits may continue if:
Divorce can be difficult — emotionally, legally, and financially. Make sure you have an experienced divorce attorney on your side if you are considering a divorce.
Pension Paid As A Lump Sum
- Pension amount paid as a lump sum
- Designed to replace monthly pension payments
- For benefit purposes, the lump sum amount is converted to a weekly amount in accordance with table “Weekly annuity equivalents for a lump sum of $1,000 according to age of claimant” . This table indicates the weekly annuity equivalent, based on the person’s age, for each $1,000 portion of the lump sum payment. This table will be updated annually
- The weekly earnings value is converted as follows:
- the lump sum amount is divided by 1,000
- the result is multiplied by the weekly annuity equivalent in the table found below
- the weekly earnings amount to allocate is rounded to the nearest dollar
Weekly annuity equivalents for a lump sum of $1,000 according to age of claimant
Lump-sum pension benefit paid or payable from December 27, 2020 to December 25, 2021 Calculated pursuant to subsection 36 of the Employment Insurance Regulations
|Age of claimant|
The pension will be allocated as follows:
- from the week of July 11, 2021: $77.00 is allocated to each week until the end of the benefit period. Since this is based on the conversion of a lump-sum pension, the amount of this pension allocation remains constant for the duration of the benefit period
In this example, because the lump-sum pension is payable on Thursday, July 8, 2021, the daily amount of $15.40 is multiplied by 2, for July 8 and 9, 2021.
Indemnity Or Offset For Va Waiver
May a state court order a retiree who waives retirement to receive disability to indemnify the former spouse for the reduction in that spouses share of the retirement?
No, according to a unanimous 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Howell v. Howell,;137 S.Ct. 1400 . SCOTUS made clear that states not only cannot divide disability directly , but cannot do it indirectly either by ordering dollar-for-dollar indemnity.
Prior to Howell, federal law had long prevented states from dividing VA disability payments.;Mansell v. Mansell, 490 U.S. 581 . Colorado has similarly ruled that divorce courts cannot divide VA disability payments, nor require the servicemember to indemnity the spouse for a VA waiver of retired pay that happened prior to dissolution.;In re Marriage of Franz, 831 P.2d 917 .
The majority rule among the states had been that the federal prohibition on dividing VA disability did not preclude a state from ordering the retiree to indemnify the former spouse for the resulting VA waiver, under the theory that once the former spouse has a vested interest in the retirement, the military member cannot unilaterally reduce the other spouse’s share by applying for VA disability. In other words, once the spouses were divorced, if the member then converts a portion of retirement to disability, he/she would owe the former spouse indemnity for any VA waiver.
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Pension Paid On A Periodic Basis
- Pension amount paid periodically by month for the rest of the persons life
- Amount can increase or decrease over time
- Amount paid is the amount payable for the specific period, based on 5 days per week from Monday to Friday
- The pension amount payable each month is converted to a weekly amount as follows:
- the monthly amount is multiplied by 12
- the result is divided by 52
- the weekly amount is rounded to the nearest dollar
Your employment ends on September 17, 2021 and you are entitled to a monthly retirement pension of $2,000 as of September 22, 2021.
The weekly and daily pension amounts are converted as follows:
- weekly = $2,000 x 12÷ 52 = $461.53 rounded to $462.00, and
- daily = $462.00 ÷ 5 = $92.40
The pension is allocated as follows:
- from the week of September 26, 2021, $462.00 is allocated to each week until the end of the benefit period, unless the pension amount increases or decreases
In this example, because the day on which the pension payment began is a Wednesday, the daily amount of $92.40 is multiplied by 3, for September 22, 23 and 24, 2021.
How Does A Disabled Childs Social Security Benefits Affect A Noncustodial Parents Child Support Obligation
The Supplemental Security Income Program is a social welfare program for the aged, blind and disabled. SSI is paid to families of disabled children qualifying under Title XVI of the Social Security Act to ensure that the recipients needs are met at a level that provides for the necessities of life. SSI benefits received by a disabled child are intended to supplement other income, not substitute for it. Therefore, the noncustodial parents child support obligation is not impacted by the receipt of SSI on behalf of a disabled child.
Gender Bias And Alimony
Officially, alimony is not based on the gender of individuals. Men and women alike have to pay spousal support, although generally more men than women pay spousal support. However, the court will not look at the sex of an individual and base their decision on that factor.
In my opinion, however, there do tend to be subtle biases in the courts in awarding alimony: its rare that men are considered economically dependent on their wives, even when they earn significantly less than their wives do.
Will I Have To Pay Spousal Support Am I Eligible To Receive Support
In Texas, the standards for eligibility for spousal support are pretty narrow. If you are seeking support you must prove one of the following to be eligible:
- Your marriage of 10 or more years ended in a divorce in which one spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for their basic needs, and that spouse:
- Cannot support themselves due to physical or mental disability.
- Is unable to work outside the home due to caring for a child with a physical or mental disability.
- Lacks the earning capacity to support themselves.
Spousal support only covers the other spouses minimum reasonable need. This is different from maintaining the standard of living to which the spouse is accustomed. The law intends for spousal support to cover rent or a mortgage, utilities, and other costs of living.
While in years past it was mostly stay at home moms who qualified for support, this is now no longer the case. More and more men are choosing to be stay-at-home parents or in some cases are not the primary income earner. As a result, it is increasingly more common for Texas judges to award spousal support to eligible men.
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Choosing The Appropriate Allocation Period
Once it has been determined that earnings have been paid or are payable, the appropriate allocation period must be chosen. When allocating earnings, we consider the following 3 factors:
All earnings that an employer paid are allocated from the week of the lay-off or separation, based on the normal weekly earnings for that employment, no matter the period for which the earnings are supposed to be paid or payable. These earnings include all amounts paid to compensate the worker for the loss of employment, such as, pay in lieu of notice, severance pay, damages for wrongful dismissal and closure bonuses and any payment of unused employment benefits to which the employee is entitled, such as:
- pay in lieu of notice
- severance pay
- accumulated sick leave credits
Your employment ended on August 8, 2019 due to a plant closure and you are not expected to return. In the week of August 11, 2019, you apply for regular benefits. Your normal salary was $500.00 per week. Following your lay-off, your employer paid you the following:
- your salary for the week of 5 to 8 August 2019: $400.00
- vacation pay: $600.00
- severance pay: $1,500.00
In this example, the allocations of these earnings have the following effects:
This income is earnings and is allocated as follows:
Does A Cheating Spouse Get Half
Infidelity Wont Get You More Money in the Courts Every state in the United States offers some form of a no-fault divorce, which allows you to cite a version of irreconcilable differences, as your reason for divorce. As such, your spouse cannot be penalized by a judge for cheating in most circumstances.
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Va Disability In A Divorce
When a veteran has a service-connected disability, she may be entitled to receive VA disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs. If the disability rating assigned by the VA is under 50%, then a retired member must waive retirement, dollar for dollar, to receive VA disability.
Why waive retirement to receive disability? Two reasons – first, disability is not taxable, and second, the payments are not divisible by the a domestic relations court.
Seeking Social Security Disability In Pennsylvania
If you are disabled and need help obtaining SSDI or SSI, dont hesitate to contact W. Daniel Feehan at Lowenthal & Abrams.; Daniel is a kind and conscientious attorney who knows the Social Security system well. He works hard to help disabled people obtain the benefits they need.; Contact Daniel at 888-979-7298.
Take Action Today To Protect Your Social Security Disability Benefits
Before they can gain access to your funds, creditors must head to court for approval. If they are successful, they can contact your bank with proof of the verdict to initiate the process.
Often, you will receive a garnishment notice before a creditor takes a portion of your income or freezes your bank account. This document should explain what you need to do in order to prove that your accounts contain exempt funds . If you learned a creditor garnished your wages or the bank froze your account without sending you a notice, contact the Social Security Administration as quickly as possible.
It is crucial you follow the instructions included with the garnishment notice, particularly the deadlines. There are often tight deadlines for notifying the court you have funds in your account that are exempt from garnishment. Meeting these deadlines is paramount for ensuring continued access to your money.
Child Support Modifications Through The Courts
Child support is governed by state law . This means that if you want to make changes to the amount of support you are ordered to pay, you must go through the court system that has jurisdiction over your case; this is usually, but not always, the state where your child is living.
You’ll need to ask for hearing so that you can argue to have your child support obligation reduced to an amount you think is fair, given the fact that your income has been greatly reduced. Although it varies from state to state, here are some examples of factors that courts usually take into consideration when determining whether child support payments should be modified :
- whether one of the parents has lost a job or begun a new one
- whether one of the parents is experiencing a financial hardship
- whether a parent has become disabled
- the relative earnings of both parents
- custody arrangements
- whether extraordinary expenses are being paid on behalf of the child
- a change in child care expenses
- changes in household size , and
- changes in the cost of living.
Your state may use other criteria when deciding whether support should be modified, so be sure to check on this before asking for a modification.
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Strategy 7: Prove They Dont Need It
Some spouses who are simply being vindictive seek to gain alimony payments, even if they do not need the money to maintain their standard of living. For example, does your ex have access to a large monetary sum, like a trust fund or stock portfolio? Do they have an inheritance or savings account? If so, them being unemployed may not affect their ability to transition to a single lifestyle. Your ex may not even need an alimony payment to make this lifestyle change.
Be sure to investigate whether or not your spouse has any assets in their name that would keep you from having to make alimony payments. To do this, you may wish to hire a professional forensic accountant to help you track down this asset or assets. While accountants definitely charge a premium for their services, your avoidance of lengthy and costly alimony fees will be well worth the price.
A Note On Ssi Disability Benefits
If you were receiving Social Security Income disability benefits, your payments may increase after your divorce since this is a benefit based on need. Your eligibility for this benefit is calculated based on the amount of resources available to you, which includes a portion of your spouses income and contribution toward your living expenses. However, you should be aware that if you are awarded spousal maintenance after a divorce, that money will be considered part of your countable, unearned income toward the SSI limit and may affect your payment amount.
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Debit Cards For Social Security Recipients
In April of 2008, people receiving Social Security Disability benefits were given the option of having their monthly benefits loaded onto a debit card instead of receiving a paper check. Some people liked the idea of having the monthly benefit electronically loaded onto a debit card. This system is more convenient and secure than waiting for a check to come in the mail.
If the recipient were hospitalized around the time the check was due to arrive, it would mean a delay in getting these much-needed funds. Monies deposited onto a debit card would be insured through FDIC in the same way that a bank account is, which means that the funds would be replaced if the card were lost or stolen.
Social Security Disability Benefits
Your ex-wife may receive Social Security Disability IncomeSSDIbased on your condition, even if you are paying alimony. As with other Social Security benefits, alimony is considered unearned income and will reduce the overall amount of benefits she receives. In order for your ex-wife to receive SSDI based on your disability, she must be over the age of 62 and you must have been married for at least 10 years. The amount of SSDI your ex-wife receives does not impact the maximum family benefit that you and your family receive from SSDI.
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Types Of Alimony In Kentucky
Judges in Kentucky can award three types of maintenance: temporary , short-term, or permanent. Depending on your case, the divorce process can take up to a year or more to complete, during which both spouses must adjust to living on a single income.
If you’ve relied on your spouse to pay for ordinary living expenses, you may need financial assistance to make ends meet while you wait for the judge to finalize the divorce. Temporary support orders are only valid during the divorce process and end when the judge finalizes the divorce or creates a new support order. .)
Short-term support is the most common type of alimony in Kentucky. The courts sometimes refer to short-term maintenance as “rehabilitative” because the purpose is for the supported spouse to obtain an educational degree or specialized job training necessary to find employment.
Rehabilitative alimony is only available for the period that it takes the supported spouse to find proper employment, and the judge will usually require that spouse to create a plan that explains how long it will take to become financially independent.
As with any divorce-related issue, spouses can negotiate the terms of any alimony award, including the type, amount, and duration. If the award is fair to both spouses, the judge will approve it.
If you’ve relied on your spouse to pay for ordinary living expenses, you may need financial assistance to make ends meet while you wait for the judge to finalize the divorce.