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On May 15, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Howell v. Howell, prohibiting states from ordering indemnity when a servicemember waived a portion of military retirement in return for VA disability payments.

Federal law has long prohibited states from dividing VA disability payments, and Colorado, like most states which have considered the issue, had held that this prohibition prevented a court from dividing a disability when the VA waiver was obtained prior to the dissolution. However, once a share of the retirement had been awarded to the spouse, states typically found that the spouse had a vested interest in the retirement. Accordingly, if a military member reduced the retirement available for division after the retirement was divided, he/she had to indemnify the other spouse for the reduction.

That is no longer the case. See the newly-updated Indemnity for VA Waiver article in the Military Divorce Guide for more information.

Have a military divorce case? Deployed? Black & Graham can help.

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