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Should veteran’s disability pay be called income during divorce?

Nevada lawmakers are considering a measure that would make veteran’s disability payments from the government exempt from divorce proceedings. This means that the money paid to veterans who were injured in combat would not be considered “income” for the purposes of spousal support, property division, or child support in the state of Nevada.

During a divorce, judges will examine all sources of income to determine if either spouse should share some of their income or assets with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. Judges also examine income sources and fianncial obligations to make a determination about whether one spouse should pay child support to the other.

Those who support the bill argue that the pay is for physical sacrifice rather than work performed. Those who are opposed to the bill say that the pay is intended to replace income from a job and should be considered a part of the overall financial picture.

Disability pay is not taxed as income, indicating that it is already considered separate in some parts of the law.

It is not clear how quickly Nevada lawmakers are moving on this issue, but it is definitely a major concern for families who are in the midst of a divorce. Disabilities from combat injuries can have a tremendous impact on a veteran’s ability to continue to work or serve in the military, making it much harder for them to provide for their families. As a result, the disability payments are a crucial part of making sure bills can be paid.

What do you think – should disability pay be exempted from divorce proceedings? Or is this income that should be shared with an ex-spouse?

Source: Associated Press, “Nevada bill bars veteran’s disability pay from divorce split,” April 2, 2013.

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