Are military disability benefits considered community property in a California divorce?

Although this was not the primary issue in a recent case, it did shed some light on both this issue and a related issue.In re Marriage of Chapman (9-27-16), the court re-iterated that although military disability benefits are not usually considered divisible community property, if the parties decide to divide these benefits in a marital settlement agreement or a judgment, the Court will enforce this order. In the Chapman case, the husband was in the military and became disabled and started receiving his disability benefits. The husband agreed to divide these benefits and did so by means of a marriage settlement agreement. He subsequently changed his mind and asserted the general presumption that military disability benefits were his sole and separate property. The Court denied the husband’s request citing that once the husband made this agreement and entered into a settlement agreement, he could not subsequently make an election after that would have defeated the wife’s community property interest.

If you need assistance in drafting a marriage settlement agreement or are receiving military disability benefits, contact attorney Paul Eads today.

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