Arizona Divorce Law Regarding Disability Pay

By Melanie Jo Triebel

There are two principal types of disability pay which may affect a divorce in Arizona: Social Security disability payments and veteran's disability payments. Arizona law treats each type of disability pay differently, but several basic questions arise when the courts consider each. These include whether the non-disabled spouse is entitled to her own payments, whether the disability payments are a marital asset which can be divided, and how the disability payments interact with support orders.

Non-Covered Spouse

A married, disabled veteran is entitled to higher military disability pay in recognition of his married status. This increased amount ends, however, if the disabled veteran divorces and no separate payment is available for the non-military ex-spouse. With respect to Social Security disability payments, a disabled spouse may be entitled to his own payments following a divorce based on the work history of the non-disabled spouse.

Marital Asset

Under Arizona law, neither veteran's disability pay nor Social Security disability pay can be treated as a marital asset. This means that such pay belongs solely to the disabled spouse: an Arizona judge cannot order that any portion of these monthly payments must be paid directly to or belongs to the other spouse.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Disability Pay and Spousal Support

An Arizona court can use Social Security disability pay in awarding spousal support to the non-disabled spouse and in deciding upon the amount of such support. In addition, the court may consider disability payments when setting the amount of child support or the amount of spousal support that should be awarded to the disabled spouse.

Miltary Disability Pay and Spousal Support

Arizona is one of only a handful of states that do not allow a judge to use military disability pay in awarding spousal support and does not permit garnishment of military disability pay for support payments. If, however, a court awards a portion of military retirement pay to the other spouse and the military spouse then converts his military retirement pay to disability pay after the divorce proceedings, the court can reclassify the other spouse's original share of the retirement pay as spousal support and order that the military spouse continue those payments.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce & Veterans Disability Pension


Related articles

Military Retirement Pay & Divorce

Military divorces are a unique legal area with several federal considerations. When it comes to retirement benefits, however, Uncle Sam takes a step back and allows individual states to rule on dividing them in a divorce. The federal government is still involved, but it defers some decisions to state courts.

Pension Law for a Georgia Divorce

Georgia courts might consider retirement plans as marital property, which is subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. However, whether or not your plan is distributed in this manner depends on several factors, including when you acquired the pension and the financial needs of you and your spouse at the time of divorce.

Michigan Laws on Alimony, Pensions & Social Security

Dividing property is an important component of every Michigan divorce. It is the job of the court to ensure that neither of you is left in an unfair financial position. The judge has the authority to award alimony payments, referred to as spousal support in Michigan, to one of you. This award might include a portion of the other spouse's retirement pension. Special rules apply to Social Security benefits, which may play an indirect role in calculating support in Michigan.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Is Social Security Disability Money Considered Marital Property in Michigan Divorce Cases?

Social Security disability benefits are paid by the federal government to former workers who have become disabled. ...

Does Getting Divorced Affect Military Disability?

Many military members receive disability payments as part of their retirement pay; these disability payments are ...

Disability in a Military Divorce

If a servicemember becomes disabled due to an injury related to his service, he may receive payments from the ...

Divorce Retirement Questions in Michigan

If you're divorcing in Michigan, you may have questions about how your retirement plan and that of your soon to be ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED