When it comes to divorce, dividing up assets, income, and shared property forms a big piece of the puzzle. Houses, pensions, retirement funds, they’re all on the table. Even, potentially, Social Security disability payments.
Rick Jones, one of our founding partners, makes regular appearances on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show, where he answers family law questions from listeners. One recent caller wants to know if his soon-to-be-ex can really come after his disability.
As usual in divorce, the answer isn’t simple. Many factors, including income disparity, come into play and complicate things. Though you may look at it one way, the court may view it from a different angle.
Listen to the Answer Below:
Caller: “I have social security disability as part of my income. If I go through a divorce, can my wife access [that], or does she get part of that monthly check?”
Rick: “Does she have any income coming in herself?”
Caller: “Yes, we both have a retirement. I know she’ll be able to get part of my retirement, as I will hers I think. I got my legs cut in half and replaced, can she get that money?”
Rick: “Here’s the question, and the question is that, is there going to be a significant disparity of income between the two of you? Because the income you are getting is truly paying you for things you are not able to earn. In other words, that disability. So it still is treated as income, rather than an asset.
“Now, if what that means is that takes your annual income to $120,000, and she’s sitting at $35,000, then you may be subject to spousal maintenance or alimony.”
Danny: “Even from his disability? She didn’t get her knees chopped off, he did. She could get part of that?”
Rick: “The key is whether or not it was an asset or income, and it is income going forward.“