I don’t know if you all can help me with this, and I’m positive some of you will certainly feel I’m not entitled to a thing here, but I do hope for a little compassion in getting some answers and/or links to case laws one way or the other. I also apologize in advance for the long post.
As some of you may remember, I’ve been helping my husband for the past 6 years try to establish service connection. He has bipolar disorder and has never been able to deal with the stress of this process, so I took it on and have dealt with everything for him.
His case has been at the BVA level since September 2011 and a video conference hearing was held in October 2011.
Long story short… I was recently diagnosed with MS and after 12 years of supporting my husband emotionally and often financially, he has decided he wants a divorce. I do not have medical insurance and once I was diagnosed I was praying even harder that he would be granted service connection and approved at 100% so I would be entitled to some medical benefits. Now there is no chance of this happening.
He emailed me a copy of the divorce papers a couple of days ago and I went to a local attorney yesterday for a consultation. In the papers my husband had written in under the division of property that WHEN/IF he receives his VA compensation back pay that he would give me 20% of that amount and 0% on any future payments. Many things he is asking for in the divorce are not fair (I am going to lose the house I’ve been paying for on my own for almost 5 years) and he told me to sign the papers ‘AS IS’ or he is taking the 20% off the table.
The attorney I spoke to yesterday (I live in a very rural area) could not tell me if I would legally be entitled to any of his back pay without doing some research and he would have to charge me $400 for that research alone (with the cost of my meds I can’t afford that). He did say that I would be entitled to either 0% or 50% of it and that whatever was put in the divorce papers would be legally binding either way.
If he is even approved (which I feel he will be at some point) and I am legally entitled to some of it, I would NOT ask for 50% of it, 20% would be a blessing to me.
BUT, I need to know if this really is a ‘gift’ as he feels it is or if there is any legal basis for me getting a portion of this back pay so I will know how to deal with other things he has in the divorce papers.
Can any of you provide me with any information on something like this? I’ve tried to research it but I’m in the middle of a MS flare which makes my brain foggy and I have a difficult time understanding some of the things I’ve been reading.
Thanks in advance….