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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Veterans Disability Benefits

Term Definition Veterans Disability Benefits - off the table.
Application in Divorce In Mansell v. Mansell, 490 U.S. 581, the United States Supreme Court ruled that federal law prohibits state courts from dividing veteran’s and military disability benefits under its community property or equitable distribution laws.

This may go hard on the nonveteran spouse because the veteran must choose disability over retirement in other to receive his or her benefits. He or she cannot draw both, but may retire on partial disability.

Some courts, in a attempt to deal with the hardship that the Mansell ruling worked, now consider the disability benefits as a factor in property distribution, but offsetting awards appear to prohibited by the high court ruling.

However, disability awards as a source of alimony appear to be consistent with the ruling, and alimony has been awarded in cases where the veteran elected disability before the divorce. In this, disability benefits are seen as income for purposes of support.

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