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Retired military veteran is charged above the federal guildines of 50 %. County uses any means to collect arrers.

Winter Park, FL |

20 year AF Veteran was charged above the 50% -- government only paid at the federal guildines of 50% pay garnishment. Arrears accumlated and Santa Barbara County blocks vets passport and freedom of movement and aggressivly goes after bank accounts and collects IRS returns. Meanwhile vet completed child support and never missed any payments. Can vet sue the county in federal court for the unjust of over charges and defamation of character. Vet was attending medical school in the Caribean and could not complete his school becouse passport was blocked and in addition all the harrasments with bank accounts and IRS collection. Will this be enough justification for a civil law suit against a county in California and filed in Florida.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    It's not real clear what you're asking, but it sounds like your military retired pay was divided in a divorce judgment. If that's the case, i think you are confused as to what is allowable. First, contrary to your misconception, the Federal government does not have guidelines that limit the authority of state courts to divide military retired pay. The only thing the "guidelines" say is that DFAS will only directly pay certain qualified former spouses up to 50% of disposable retired pay . State courts, however, are free to treat military retired pay as marital property in accordance with their own laws. So, if a state court ordered as part of the property division that the former spouse would get 70% of military retired pay, DFAS could directly pay a qualified former spouse 50% of the retired pay, but the retired service member would then be responsible for paying the former spouse the additional 20% in accordance with state law. In addition, it is also possible for the state court to divide the retired pay as marital property and also award alimony and child support. So, the court could give the former spouse a 50% share of the retired pay as part of the property settlement and on top of that award another amount as alimony and child support. The difference between these awards is that the former spouse receives sole title to any asset awarded as part of the property settlement. Alimony and child support are paid from the payee spouse's assets. You should consult a divorce attorney in the state that has jurisdiction over your divorce judgment. If you are required to pay alimony and child support, you might be able to modify it if there's been a change in circumstances since the judgment. However, most states do not allow modification of anything included in the marital property division.

    Law Office of Stephen P. Kelly (508) 983-1479--Criminal Defense, Military Law, Divorce & Family Law, Appeals. DISCLAIMER: Answers to posted questions are for general interest only and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by virtue of any answer posted by the attorney.


  2. This is probably too complicated of a question for this forum. I suggest u repost in the consumer law forum and seek an attorney familiar with wage garnishment. This is not a military law question.


  3. As Attorney Cassara indicated, these are not military issues. I am reposting you in the more appropriate practice areas.

    BTW, your status as retiree is immaterial to your issues, will get you no additional empathy with a court--recommend you drop it from your narrative—it smacks of pandering.

    Finally, recommend you get an attorney ASAP. The text you posted suggests to me that you would not be able to handle such a matter on your own.

    READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I give a 100% effort to get you on the right track with your issue. Sometimes that means legal educational information, sometimes that means counseling and non-legal guidance. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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