Today SCOTUS ruled on a family law case. Howell v Howell – unanimous ruling… Husband and Wife divorced over 25 years ago. Decree ordered Husband’s military retirement split 50/50 with Wife. When he actually retired, he waived part of his retirement in favor of disability pay, which reduced Wife’s portion. Wife sued for him to pay out of pocket the amount her part has been reduced. The court in Arizona agreed with Wife, but SCOTUS said No way! In an opinion written by Justice Breyer, the Court held that Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act says courts can divide retired pay but not disability pay, even if it means the former spouse gets less money. The Court suggested that divorce judges address that upfront in the division of property if they are afraid a spouse will waive retirement pay in favor of disability pay.
Here’s link to SCOTUSblog about the ruling: http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/05/opinion-analysis-unanimous-court-rules-veteran-family-law-case/