If a women divorces her husband and his only income is VA disability, will she be able to receive alimony from him?

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If a women divorces her husband and his only income is VA disability, will she be able to receive alimony from him?

Married for 25 years.

Asked on March 14, 2011 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are two significant issues here.

1) Alimony is based on need, ability to pay, who contributed what during the marriage, and also the previous lifestyle. If the husband's only income is VA disability, then clearly he has little, if any, ability to pay. Also, if that was the couple's only income, their lifestyle was very low, economically; or if she earned more than him, then perhaps she owes *him* spousal support. The facts are not in her favor.

2) While technically someone could be made to pay alimony regardless of income source, many states prevent garnishment of disability benefits. It looks as if VA may allow you to garnish a VA disability benefit, but as a general matter, if someone's only income is this sort of benefit, then it's less likely that if he doesn't pay, that you would use legal process to force payment.


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