Military Disability Benefits In a Texas Divorce
Posted by Ramos Law Group, PLLC | Divorce
The Ramos Law Group, PLLC is proud to represent Texans who have honorably served our great nation. We do our duty to protect the rights and assets of our military clients. A military divorce can take on another layer of complication when there are pensions or disability benefits to consider. Today we will focus on a spouse’s disability benefits and how a divorce can potentially affect those.
It is important to remember that Texas is a community property state. Anything earned or acquired after the date of marriage is considered community property and is subject to a just and right division between the spouses during the divorce process. This division is irrespective of who earned the asset, both spouses could be entitled to it. Some assets are considered separate property, which means it can only belong to the spouse that earned it and is not subject to a just and right division in the divorce.
If a spouse is receiving direct payments from the Veterans Affair’s office for any percentage of disability, those funds are considered separate property. As the benefits are compensation for service-connected disabilities, only the spouse who served and is now disabled is awarded that money. Sounds easy correct?
What complicates matters is the legal theory of “commingling.” Any deposits or monies earned during a marriage are considered community property. The spouse claiming a property is separate property has the burden of proving that it is separate property. Military disability benefits are separate property and can easily be confirmed as such. But if a spouse is having their separate property disability benefits check deposited into their joint marital account, then the separate property money is being commingled with the community property money. This is muddying the waters, so to speak, and making it complicated to show exactly which sums are separate property and which sums are community property.
To prevent your non-military spouse from going after your disability benefits, it is prudent to always keep your military disability payments in a separate account. You are free to use this money as you wish for community purposes, but by keeping it separate you will avoid commingling and be able to prove that it remains your separate property.
If you have any questions about your military benefits and how they may be impacted in a Texas divorce, please call our office at (713) 225-6200. Our experienced legal team will answer any questions you may have and can guide you through the divorce process.