When a couple separates, they divide the assets acquired during the marriage. In some instances, these assets are split evenly. In other cases, a court will divide assets according to what it deems as most fair. When one person was the main source of income during a marriage, they will likely receive the responsibility of paying alimony to their former spouse. However, what happens during Massachusetts divorces when disability is a factor during a divorce?
Are Disability Benefits a Marital Asset?
Marital assets are defined as any property obtained during a marriage. If one or both spouses collect Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI), they are protected by the Social Security Act as not subject to “levy or attachment.” This means that these disability benefits cannot be divided as a marital asset. However, if the person receiving disability benefits needs alimony after a divorce, their benefits will be included as income and will diminish the overall amount of alimony they receive from their former spouse.
Can Disability Affect Alimony That a Court Has Already Ordered?
As mentioned above, a person who receives disability benefits may receive a reduced amount of alimony. A person who owes alimony and receives disability benefits may have their benefits affect their alimony payments. If alimony is owed and unpaid, the receiver of disability benefits may have them garnished, so their alimony orders are satisfied as much as possible. Before disability benefits are garnished, a person will receive notification within 30 days of the garnishment.
Do Those with Permanent Disabilities Receive More Alimony?
If a person does not collect disability benefits and relied on the income of their former spouse for medical care instead, then the costs of their care will be a factor during a divorce. Divorce courts attempt to provide alimony that is tailored to a person’s needs and will adjust the amount a person receives according to the situation. If a person needs medical care that their former spouse provided, a court will consider this and add it to alimony payments.
Having a Massachusetts Divorce Attorney Is Important for Disability
If you are going through a divorce which involves a disabled party, then you need the help of a Massachusetts divorce attorney from Miller Law Group, P.C. as soon as possible. Divorce is often a highly-contested process, and we fight so that our clients receive the best deal possible. Our lawyers are never satisfied with winning less than clients deserve, and we’ll work toward an alimony decision that works for your benefit.
Call us today at (508) 502-7002 for a free consultation of your case. Our Massachusetts divorce attorneys are ready to help you now.