Family Matters

Resources on divorces, child support, adoption, custody, domestic violence, and estate planning.

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VA Disability Compensation and Divorce: Facts and Fallacies

Frequently asked questions for advocates regarding VA disability compensation and how the courts address it in divorce, family support, garnishment and military pension division.
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Child Support and Veterans Benefits - FAQs

Questions about what can or can't be done to collect child support from your Veteran's Benefits? This article covers some of the most Frequently Asked Questions on this topic.
VA pension

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Surviving Spouses and Children

Learn about this tax-free monthly benefit paid by the VA to certain eligible survivors of military servicemembers and veterans.
Photo credit: Benjamin Manley. A woman sits on a bench, back to the camera, with her arms around two small children

Adoption and the Military

The Department of Defense (DoD) has stated that family support is critical for service members. It supports service members who decide to adopt children and tries hard to support families during the adoption process.
Photo credit: Bruno Nascimento. A woman smiles and embraces a young child

Family Law Overview

"Family law" is the term lawyers use to describe laws that affect families. 

Overview of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

A brief overview of SCRA legal protections for activated servicemembers, with links to more details.
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The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

Frequent moves and deployment can create problems for children of military families who are still in school, as a result of different rules and requirements between school districts.
Photo credit: Jordan Whitt. Photo of mom holding toddler on her lap

Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act

FAQs about the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act and how it can help enforce a Court Order regarding military retirement pay, child support or alimony owed by a service member.
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Waiver of SCRA

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides several protection for active duty military members, including the potential to delay a lawsuit. However, a servicemember might want a case (such as a divorce) to move forward quickly and so they would like to waive that protection. It's possible to do that and you can read here for more information.

Child support obligations of Veterans

Question:

I just got out of a seminar with an organization called " Protect Veterans Rights." You need to read updated brief that makes Title 38 USC 5301 or Rose vs Rose null and void. Title 38 USC 511.. Read it and than post your comments.

 

Jim's Reply:

The 5301 myth has been around as long as tales of Sasquatch sightings in that Loch Ness neighborhood where the sidewalk ends and Nessie resides happily. All have fanatical followers who swear of their sightings and experiences that will change the world but that never seems to quite come to fruition.
 

You're just another in a long line of angry guys who have shown disdain for their children by trying to use an obtuse statute by misinterpreting it so to avoid child support. 
 

I tried to read the manifesto you speak of but a deep Google search turned up zip for your "Protect Veterans Rights" group, there's simply nothing there. You need to learn how to hyperlink to things you want others to view. Otherwise, you got nothing...there is no "updated brief."
 

Here's the deal: Unhappy ex-husbands (mostly) who are also disabled veterans have been whining about how 5301 magically protects their benefits from supporting the children they sired. These 5301 zealots have spread misinformation for at least a decade that I've been involved. Their goal is to punish the ex and reduce paying child support...a truly noble effort if ever there was one. I've watched as they sit in jail for contempt of court and I've talked with the ex-spouses who are trying to get by...it's all sad.
 

Whatever you think you've learned won't release you from your child support obligation. No way, no how. Accept and live with that...you'll be a better man for taking care of your kids.
 

I speak from experience. I paid child support and lived in near poverty for over 15 years. I paid it without the constant whining I hear day to day (from you and many others) because it was the right thing to do. I did without so the child could have what he deserved. That doesn't make me a hero, this is what parents do...they make sacrifices for their progeny.
 

You can continue to cry to strangers on the Internet or you can deal with it. I paid my child support debt a long time ago and it's my opinion that you should too.
 

For what it's worth, as of my typing this, 38 U.S. Code § 5301.Nonassignability and exempt status of benefits and Rose v. Rose are intact, hardly "null and void".